Spanish plastics company LSB has teamed with compatriot autoparts makers Filosa and Zanini to make wheel trims and rear view mirrors from PET, an environmentally friendly plastic it claims will halve the cost of making the components.

In a statement, La Seda de Barcelona (LSB) said it had copyrighted the polymer, which it will produce at its Prat de Llobregat fatory in Barcelona. Under the scheme, it hopes to tap into the fast-growing 300,000-tonne European automotive PET market.

The company boasted its PET products, which will be made under the newly-created PETAUTO division, will cost 50% less to make than current polyameade and 'technical plastic' variants.

An LSB spokesperson would not detail future output rates but said they will be significant and represent a major expansion by the company, which has led a major PET expansion in recent years.

The venture’s PET will be fully reyiclable, helping car makers fulfill the EU’s 2000/53 directive forcing them to use 85% recyclable components, rising to 95% after 2015.