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22nd August 2016, Tokyo

Mitsui and Forward Engineering to expand services for automotive parts made from carbon fibre

Mitsui has commenced joint development of new manufacturing methods for automotive parts and other products using carbon fibre composite materials.Mitsui & Co., a leading technology and innovation company, has agreed to make equity participation in Forward Engineering (FE), a leading German design and engineering company specializing in automotive lightweight structures made from carbon fibre and other composite materials. The two companies also entered into a business alliance agreement.

Mitsui will use its global network and business activities to promote FE's automotive lightweight design and engineering services. It also aims to expand its presence in the automotive carbon fibre market by leveraging FE's advanced knowledge and experiences relating to automotive parts made from composite materials.

Mitsui and FE, through this equity partnership, will respond to the need for vehicle light weighting by globally expanding design and engineering services for autobody and parts made from carbon fibre and other composite materials. Both companies will also aim to help accelerate the expansion of the automotive carbon fibre market, and to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.

Weight reduction

Climate change has become an urgent global issue, the company reports. The reduction of energy consumption through the development of lighter transportation equipment, especially motor vehicles, is seen as important way of combating this problem, and the market for parts made from carbon fibre and other lightweight materials is expected to expand rapidly.

FE has an extensive track record in design and engineering activities relating to autobody and parts made from composite materials, since the time it was part of Roding Automobile, to reduce the weight of mass-produced vehicles.

Business expansion

Mitsui is expanding its global business relating to carbon fibre materials. In April 2015, it entered into a cooperation agreement concerning composite materials and an equipment lease agreement with the Innovative Composite Center of the Kanazawa Institute of Technology.

Under those agreements, Mitsui has commenced joint development of new manufacturing methods for automotive parts and other products using carbon fibre composite materials. In March 2016, Mitsui acquired a stake in Hexagon Composites ASA, a Norwegian manufacturer of carbon fibre reinforced high-pressure cylinders, and Hankuk Carbon, a South Korean carbon fibre composite product manufacturer.

www.mitsui.com

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