Toyobo Co., Ltd. has agreed to set up a joint venture firm to produce yarns for automobile airbags with Bangkok-based Indorama Polyester Industries PCL (IPI), which is under the umbrella of the world’s largest polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer, Indorama Ventures PCL. The joint venture plans to build a new plant on the IPI factory site in Rayong Province, Thailand, and start operations in the first quarter of 2022.
The airbag market is expected to continue growing at 3-4% annually thanks to an increase in the number of airbags installed per vehicle and growth in the proportion of vehicles equipped with airbags in emerging economies. In 2014, Toyobo and IVL jointly acquired PHP Fibers GmbH (PHP), a German airbag yarn maker that held the second-largest share in the world at that time. Since then the relationship has grown stronger with many joint activities carried out between Toyobo and PHP.
Toyobo has long maintained a partnership with IVL, which is committed to expanding its mobility-related business. Given that Toyobo and the IVL group are capable of effectively using their resources in Thailand, they agreed to establish the joint venture company to produce PA66 airbag yarns and ramp up efforts to expand their airbag business. The JV will be integral part of the Indorama Mobility Group.
IVL, with its presence in Thailand, is undertaking the manufacturing for the proposed JV, with 100% offtake by Toyobo for its weaving plant. Toyobo will diligently meet global clients’ needs as the sole manufacturer capable of producing and supplying airbag materials ranging from yarn to fabrics at its five operations hubs in Japan, Thailand, China, the United States and Europe.