A press announcement was released in Japan by Toray on July 11th announcing that they are to build an integrated plant to produce nylon fabric for airbags:
At the time of the announcement we were unsure if the plant included extrusion, we thought it probably did, but were not 100% sure. On Thursday 28th an announcement was made in Japan confirming the plant would have a total capacity of 10,000 tons including nylon extrusion.
AKC Note: It has been known for some years that Toray was looking to extend its airbag activities to N.America. With a strong integrated position from yarn to fabric in Asia and a fabric position in Europe (Czech Republic), the case for a global presence was strong with the increasingly global footprint of the major automakers and also the airbag module manufacturers. The timing of this announcement is significant, not only due to the large investment by the auto industry in Mexico, but also with the problems that Takata has had with massive global recalls due to their airbag inflator failures. It is widely anticipated that there will be changes in supply relationships over the coming months/years and Toray must see this as an opportunity to become a main player in N. America. We do not expect existing nylon 66 airbag yarn suppliers to easily concede market share so we expect that competition will be intense. Plant start up is scheduled for March 2018.
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