South Korea's Hanwha Advanced Materials Corporation has offered to buy Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), a US manufacturer of automotive plastic and composite structural parts based in Auburn, Michigan.

The acquisition would represent a major expansion in the US for the South Korean company.

CSP employs 3,200 and is the one of the largest US manufacturers of automotive composite materials – supplying General Motors, Ford and Chrysler as well as Toyota. 

It makes lightweight structural and body parts, including plastic-composite body panels for cars and trucks, pickup truck boxes, plus lightweight high performance parts for other industries.

According to reports in South Korea, Hanwa has offered to buy 100% of CSP's equity in a deal said to be worth US$600m.

Other multinational companies understood to have bid for the company include BASF and Mitsubishi Chemical.

Hanwa has been strengthening its position in this sector both in its home market and overseas over the last several years. Last year it acquired Samsung General Chemicals and Samsung Total, as well as Germany's Heycoustics. This followed the acquisition of US parts supplier Azdel in 2007.

In May Hanwha began production of body parts, including bumpers, at a new facility in Mexico for the Kia K3 which went into production in the country last month.