TOKYO -- Japan's Nisshinbo Holdings will spend 20 billion yen ($180 million) to ramp up production of brake materials in China and the U.S.
In China, a group company based in South Korea will spend 6 billion yen to build in Shandong Province a new 72,000-sq.-meter factory that will come online in 2019. The site will supply such automakers as Volvo Cars parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and General Motors.
Nisshinbo will also invest 2 billion yen at a site on the outskirts of Shanghai to increase capacity. Automakers in China are offering more electric-vehicle models in response to tighter environmental regulations, and the company aims to capture some of the expected new demand as gasoline-powered autos are replaced.
In the U.S., Nisshinbo will expand capacity for wear-resistant brake materials that minimize vibrations and also install production equipment that conforms to tighter environmental regulations. Rules aiming to reduce the amount of copper used in brake materials are coming into force there, lowering the amount of the metal to less than 5% of the weight by 2021 and to zero by 2025.
Copper has determined the effectiveness of brake materials, and companies have been working to develop substitutes. Nisshinbo will gradually introduce copper-less composite materials in the American market. Expenditures on equipment will reach 10 billion yen over a three-year period through fiscal 2019.