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TOKYO — Nissan says it has developed a new way to produce high-tech auto parts that highlights the Japanese automaker’s engineering finesse, even as it faces a criminal trial in an ongoing scandal involving former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.
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Nissan Motor Co. said it has achieved a “breakthrough” in molding carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP, components, now used in racing cars and jets because of their light weight and strength.
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All of the world’s top automakers are working to boost CFRP use. The hurdles have been cost, which is often about 10 times that of steel, and the long time it takes to mold the parts.
Executive Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto said the CFRP parts will be used in mass-produced sport-utility vehicles in four or five years, thanks to a new casting procedure for the poured resin.
The cost savings come from shortening the production time from about three or four hours to just two minutes, Sakamoto said. A vehicle rolls off a Nissan assembly line every two minutes.