DETROIT — Creating materials is one thing. To get the auto industry to do something with those materials is another. So supplier Sabic Innovative Plastics is taking its technology to its customers.
Sabic worked first with General Motors to create a thermoplastic body system for the concept version of the Volt electric vehicle that debuted in January, with the potential to shave 60 pounds off a car. At that time, Sabic Innovative Plastics was known as GE Plastics. Saudi Basic Industries Corp., or Sabic, bought the operation this year.
Now Sabic is showing off the QarmaQ (pronounced car-mac), a concept created with South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. that can reduce weight by more than 130 pounds compared with traditional materials including steel and glass.
The concept car, introduced at the Geneva auto show in March and set to make its North American debut at the Los Angeles auto show in November, also introduced designers to new possibilities with plastics that they could not achieve with steel panels, says Greg Adams, general manager of Sabic's automotive business unit.
"We spend a lot of time teaching people how to design with our resins," Adams said during an Oct. 10 briefing at Sabic's office in suburban Detroit. Sabic Innovative Plastics is based in Pittsfield, Mass.