Joint venture in Richmond will produce composite parts for auto industry

RICHMOND, Ky. — TRB Lightweight Structures and Toyota Tsusho America announced recently a joint venture to produce high-volume composite parts to serve the automotive industry in North America. The new venture has opened a location in Richmond and will begin delivering composite battery enclosures to a Tier 1 supplier to the truck and bus industry in April.

Composite materials are gaining popularity in the automotive industry due to their light weight and superior mechanical properties.

TRB is headquartered in the United Kingdom and brings decades of experience manufacturing lightweight solutions for transportation, including rail and aerospace, using both composites and aluminum. The new venture leverages TRB’s automated manufacturing techniques and Toyota Tsusho America’s global supply chain. The factory will utilize proprietary robotics and processing automation to unlock cost-effective composite part production.

“We’re striving to support our customers as they move to electrification,” said Mike Lavender, senior vice president of Toyota Tsusho America. “Working together with TRB allows us to offer new lightweight solutions to the market that improve performance.”

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Toyota Tsusho America to bring our knowledge and innovation to U.S. automakers and their suppliers,” said Richard Holland, managing director of TRB Lightweight Structures. “We share key values with Toyota; a belief in the value of long-term relationships and a quality mindset.”

About TRB Lightweight Structures

TRB Lightweight Structures (TRB) is a leading international manufacturing and engineering company, specializing in lightweight transportation solutions. TRB works closely with customers to reduce weight while improving performance, safety and durability.

About Toyota Tsusho America

Toyota Tsusho America Inc. is a multi-market, multi-business enterprise which has been operating in North America for over 50 years. Based on both the heritage and the vision of the parent company, Toyota Tsusho Corp., the trading affiliate of the Toyota Group companies, have enlarged upon the traditional trading business model by developing new manufacturing, intermediate goods processing and logistics activities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.