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Nissan Looks to Composites as Steel Alternative

24 June 2005

Recent reports suggest that Nissan, the Japanese car manufacturer, is looking to switch its allegiance to carbon fibre composites in the face of proliferating steel prices.

The reports made on the back of comments by Nissan’s president, Carlos Ghosn, who was responsible for clawing back Nissan’s fall towards bankruptcy five years ago, state that Nissan are looking into replacing their steel bodywork and structural parts with composites, a material normally reserved for the high end automotive market.

Exercising some concern about the material switch due to the initial outlay costs involved, Carlos Ghosn said that ""we are a company of steel and our engineers feel more comfortable with it than any other material, but the trigger for moving to a substitute will be rising costs, he said, adding that his company had established an alternative materials research department looking into a range of metal replacements.

The comments must also be taken in the context of the recent price increases that Nissan have made, a direct result of a price increase in steel from one of its major suppliers.

The comments were made on the day that Nissan published its sustainability report, which can be downloaded here






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