News & Image Source: Magna
As the market for crossovers and sport utility vehicles continues to grow in China, so does the need for innovative, lightweight solutions. Therefore Magna and GAC Component Co., Ltd. (GACC), announced entering into a joint venture to begin production of composite liftgates for a global automaker's crossover vehicle starting in late 2018. The joint venture will work out of a new 55,900 square-foot facility located in Changsha, China, with an estimated 116 employees at the start.
"We're seeing tremendous demand for advanced material innovations as manufacturers pursue all opportunities to take weight out of vehicles to meet emissions requirements," said Magna Exteriors President Grahame Burrow. "I am very pleased we have formed this JV with GACC as it provides great opportunities for future growth in liftgates and other lightweight exterior products going forward."
"Magna's expertise in advanced materials and manufacturing, combined with GACC's deep connection in the world's largest automotive market, certainly ensures the strength of this strategic partnership," added Burrow.
As per the estimations, lightweight, fully recyclable, composite liftgates are particularly beneficial as demand for crossover and sport utility vehicles remains high globally. These liftgate modules can achieve up to 25 percent mass savings over steel versions and are delivered as complete assemblies to the customer. Composite materials allow for greater design flexibility with deeper draws and tighter radii. Additional benefits of Magna's full-system assembly and delivery approach include reduced complexity of the total liftgate module, lower tooling investment and increased throughput at the assembly plant.
According to a market report from Stratview Research, composite liftgates will witness a higher growth rate than the metal counterparts in the global automotive liftgate market which is expected to reach $5,104 million in 2022. Increasing demand for lightweight liftgates to reduce the overall vehicle weight for achieving stringent government regulations, such as CAFÉ standards is sited as one of the major growth drivers of the global automotive liftgate market.
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