In February, TRB Lightweight Structures and Toyota Tsusho America announced a joint venture (JV) partnership to produce high-volume composite parts to serve the North American automotive industry. The new venture has opened a location near Lexington, Kentucky, and will begin delivering composite battery enclosures to a Tier 1 supplier to the truck and bus industry in April. Composite materials are gaining popularity in the automotive industry due to their light weight and superior mechanical properties.
TRB is headquartered in the UK and brings decades of experience manufacturing lightweight solutions for transportation, including rail and aerospace, using both composites and aluminium. The new venture leverages TRB’s automated manufacturing techniques and Toyota Tsusho America’s global supply chain. The factory will utilise proprietary robotics and processing automation to unlock cost-effective composite part production.
“We’re striving to support our customers as they move to electrification,” said Mike Lavender, senior vice-president of Toyota Tsusho America. “Working together with TRB allows us to offer new lightweight solutions to the market that improve performance.”
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Toyota Tsusho America to bring our knowledge and innovation to US automakers and their suppliers,” said Richard Holland, managing director of TRB Lightweight Structures. “We share key values with Toyota; a belief in the value of long-term relationships and a quality mindset.”
TRB Lightweight Structures (TRB) is a leading international manufacturing and engineering company, specialising in lightweight transportation solutions. TRB works closely with customers to reduce weight while improving performance, safety, and durability.
Toyota Tsusho America is a multi-market, multi-business enterprise that has been operating in North America for over 50 years. Toyota Tsusho Corporation is the trading affiliate of the Toyota Group companies. In addition to providing extensive trading services, Toyota Tsusho America develops new manufacturing, intermediate goods processing and logistics activities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.