By Steve Toloken, Plastics News Staff
Wuhu, China -- Hoping to promote lightweight and more energy efficient automobiles in China's rapidly expanding market, Germany's Bayer Material Science and local car maker Chery Automobile Co. Ltd have agreed to set up a joint research and development laboratory.
In an 8 April statement announcing the collaboration, the companies said they would jointly do research, apply for patents and promote technologies in areas such as polyurethane composites, polycarbonate glazing, new energy battery housing, noise reduction and sound-absorption materials.
While they did not provide details, the companies described it as a "comprehensive partnership" to promote innovation in materials and mass production of energy-efficient cars.
"The joint lab plays an important role in the two companies' long-term cooperation," said Lu Jianhui, vice president and director for Chery. "It will create a new platform for the companies to promote lightweight autos in China."
Bayer said it has set up showroom in Chery's Central Research Institute, and it plans to hold technical seminars at Chery, which is based in Wuhu, Anhui province.
The centre will help Bayer understand China's market better, and allow the company to have regular technical exchanges and training programs at Chery, said Rainer Rettig, senior vice president of Bayer's polycarbonates business unit, Asia Pacific.
Bayer said it follows its establishment last year of an automotive centre in Shanghai.
Chery, which was established in 1997, sold 700 000 cars in 2010 and targets sales of 800 000 vehicles this year, including 150 000 for export.