Benteler-SGL, a joint venture of Benteler Automobiltechnik and SGL Group has offically opened a new factory in Ort im Innkreis, Austria. Composite components for vehicle bodies will made at the EUR36m (US$47m) 45,000 sq m site from mid 2013.

MD Christian Howe said: “Benteler-SGL is taking another big step towards the serial production of composite components for the automotive industry with the new production plant. This will enable us to further expand our technological and market position in this rapidly growing market segment.”

Co-MD Sebastian Grasser added: “This investment is our response to the increasing demands of our customers. We are hard at work on automating automotive component production further.”

The supplier’s product range now includes body shell components such as side blades, doors and visible carbon components. Customers include almost all well-known automobile manufacturers, primarily from the premium class.

The subject of lightweight construction is becoming increasingly important for the automotive industry in light of more stringent CO2 exhaust standards. Benteler-SGL is benefitting from the rising demand which this entails, since composite components aid in reducing fuel consumption and offer great safety at the same time. Composite materials are ideally suited for electromobility, in particular, which requires lighter materials to compensate for additional battery weight.