Brazil’s move to lighter cars may boost high-performance plastics

24 May 2013 03:35  [Source: ICIS news]

SAO PAULO (ICIS)--The high-performance plastics industry should benefit from the Brazilian automobile industry’s need to make cars lighter amid calls for greater fuel economy and lesser emissions, a general manager with LANXESS said on Thursday.

For example, most of the cars made in Brazil have front ends made with a great deal of steel, but companies such as LANXESS have years of experience making the same parts with strong plastics that lighten car weights, said Andreas Scheurell, general manager of high-performance materials in Latin America.

Scheurell made his comments on the sidelines of the 2013 Feiplastic convention.

Lighter car weights mean less fuel usage and less emissions, he said.

The main reason the movement toward less steel and more plastics in cars had not made its way to Brazil and South America until now was due to logistics and infrastructure, but that is changing due to increased government mandates to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy, Scheurell said. 

Companies making cars in Brazil that once thought high-performance plastics such as nylon were too costly now view them as vital to their businesses’ future, he said.

“Every customer is coming to us and asking, ‘How can we do this?’” Scheurell said.

Feiplastic continues through Friday.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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