Covestro Forms Strategic Partnerships with Carmakers in China
- 17-Nov-2023 12:52 PM
- Journalist: Kim Chul Son
In the midst of a potential economic slowdown in China, Covestro is ramping up its engagement on the mainland by establishing strategic partnerships within the automotive sector with various local entities. The company recently unveiled three such collaborations at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.
To begin with, Covestro formalized a strategic alliance with Changzhou Talent-display Optronics & Technology (CTOT) at CIIE, focusing on the advancement of vehicle display technologies. CTOT specializes in the application of specialized polycarbonate (PC) films to enhance vehicle displays. As automotive technology advances in integration, intelligence, electrification, and data connectivity, the significance of displays as interfaces for human-vehicle interaction is increasing. Manufacturers are not only required to ensure the reliability of these displays but also to offer design flexibility to accommodate the rapid changes in new-energy vehicles. In response to these challenges, Covestro and CTOT have joined forces to explore tangible solutions. This collaboration has already resulted in the introduction of Makrofol LM807, a high-quality PC light guide plate material designed for vehicle displays.
The second partnership unveiled at CIIE involved the establishment of a joint laboratory with the Chinese premium electric vehicle brand HiPhi. This collaboration aims to address key challenges in future mobility, particularly focusing on the commercialization of low-carbon materials in future electric vehicle (EV) models and the establishment of relevant standards. Additionally, the joint lab will concentrate on the development of next-generation smart-surface technologies and battery solutions. This initiative builds upon a cooperation agreement signed between the two companies at CIIE the previous year. With EVs becoming smarter, Covestro notes that headlights present new opportunities beyond illumination. Covestro’s Makrolon AL provides the necessary dimensional stability, UV resistance, and transparency required for this application.
The third initiative announced at CIIE by Covestro involves a global partnership with Chinese automotive trim company Xinquan Automotive. This collaboration aims to strengthen Xinquan’s business in China and support its expansion into North America, Europe, and ASEAN countries. The primary focus is on polyurethane (PU), initially for automotive interior applications like instrument panels, door panels, and center armrests. Beyond technical collaboration, Covestro and Xinquan plan to leverage Covestro’s global research and development capabilities to develop low-carbon PU solutions for vehicle interiors by utilizing partially bio-based raw materials.
Xinquan has already commenced production at its Mexico plant, with plans for a North American technical center and new facilities in Europe and ASEAN. This series of strategic partnerships underscores Covestro’s commitment to innovation and collaboration within the Chinese automotive sector, despite broader economic trends.