Automotive: Teijin completes acquisition of Benet Automotive; Toray acquires Swedish air bag maker

Teijin completes acquisition of Benet Automotive

Japan’s Teijin Limited has completed the acquisition of Benet Automotive, an automotive composite and component supplier in the Czech Republic, from Jet Investment.

Teijin says it will benefit from Benet’s automotive composite technologies and its well-proven supply record; these will serve as a solid foundation on which to further strengthen Teijin’s solution development capabilities as a component supply partner of automotive OEM customers in Europe. As part of its multi-material strategy to offer innovative automotive composite solutions that meet customers’ future needs for lightness, toughness, design flexibility, productivity and cost-efficiency, Teijin will leverage Benet’s involvement in existing development projects with outstanding material and molding technologies and technical team members of Teijin, Continental Structural Plastics, a world leader in automotive composites based in North America which Teijin acquired in 2017 and Inapal Plásticos SA, an automotive-composite supplier in Portugal which Teijin acquired in 2018.

Teijin says it is targeting automotive composite business sales of approximately EUR1.7 billion by 2030.

“We are growing our automotive composites business with our proprietary lightweight, high-performance materials, and superior multi-material design capabilities served by our hubs in Europe, North America and Asia,” said Akio Nakaishi, General Manager of Teijin’s Composites Business Unit. “Benet Automotive’s well-established technologies and sales channels will further enhance our capabilities as a tier-one automotive supplier and help spur further innovation.”

Toray acquires Swedish air bag maker

In other news, Toray Industries has concluded an agreement with AB Anders Westerlind to purchase all of the shares of Alva Sweden AB, a manufacturer of cushions for automotive airbag systems. It will also acquire its two subsidiaries, Alva Confecções S.A. of Portugal and Alva Tunisia SA of Tunisia.

The global airbag market is steadily growing. Demand continues to expand supported by tightening of vehicle safety regulations in leading nations together with increasing employment of this safety equipment in the emerging nations. Another positive factor is that requirement for higher performance airbags is rising with the emergence of next-gen vehicles equipped with self-driving and other new technologies which should cause a commensurate need for greater safety.

Toray’s airbag business encompasses nylon fibre production operations in Japan, Thailand, and Mexico and fabric manufacturing sites in Japan, Thailand, China, the Czech Republic, India, and Mexico. The company is taking advantage of the competitiveness of its integrated fibre and fabric capabilities and the global production and sales structure to supply airbag fabric of the same quality from all production sites in a timely manner.

Alva has manufactured cushions for automotive airbag systems in Europe since 1997.

Toray has built positive ties with Alva over the years by supplying it with fabric. The acquisition agreement was the fruit of discussions between the two companies that started in 2018. This was in light of Toray’s desire to accelerate advances in its integrated operations by entering more downstream business of cushions and extending its supply chain, thereby driving ongoing growth in the airbag business in response to the market changes outlined above.

Toray also looks to incorporate Alva’s cushion-manufacturing expertise in fabric design to bolster its product development and proposal capabilities by drawing on more robust fibre, fabric, and sewing integration. The company thereby aims to help materialize high-performance airbags by heightening its presence among module manufacturers and automakers.


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