The more things change…the more they change
Welcome to the last 2013 edition of AutoFocus. Much has happened since the last issue—not the least of which is the fact that I am writing this editorial as the new global automotive industry director.
In late October, we announced plans to separate our Performance Chemicals segment, which includes the Titanium Technologies and Chemicals & Fluoroproducts businesses. This spin-off involves a separation of these two businesses from the rest of DuPont through a process that is expected to take about 18 months. Once separated, DuPont shareholders will own 100 percent of the new public entity. This decision will result in two strong companies: DuPont and a new performance chemicals company. Both will be industry leaders with outstanding teams driving compelling value for shareholders, customers and employees.
We did this so we can focus more on integrating our unique scientific capabilities in biology, chemistry and materials to develop differentiated high-value solutions in the advanced materials, bio-based industries and agriculture & nutrition markets. The challenges surrounding a growing population with increased demands for energy, food and protection remain a major driver for our innovative solutions.
This converges on the auto industry in terms of advanced material solutions that further reduce vehicle weight and improve efficiencies as we drive to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. We believe the breadth of our materials portfolio and the strength of our global R&D teams, have never been better positioned to help the industry bring multiple low-emission and fuel-economy technologies quickly to market.
And that brings me to the content of this issue.
- I arrived in Shanghai just after we opened the new Application Development Center in Hyderabad, India, but in time to experience our expansion in China. This month we take a look at those expansions in the context of building a collaboration network and investing in the equipment to help get new ‘efficiency-improving’ ideas into production and on the road even faster.
- We also participated in the K2013 trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, where the conversation focused on finding lightweighting solutions. For those like me who were not able to attend in person, we have collected some materials to fill you in.
- We complete our series on CO2 reduction with a look at why lighter is better and some ideas about replacing metals with plastics.
- Finally, we highlight new elastomer grades that stand up to increasingly hot and aggressive underhood environments that are common in today’s highly efficient engine compartments.
I hope you enjoy this issue. I want to close by being the first to wish you a happy and healthy 2014 as we continue the drive to a more sustainable future.
David J. Donofrio
Global Automotive Director
DuPont Performance Polymers
David J. Donofrio is a 34-year veteran of DuPont, most recently serving as the global director of the company’s flagship thermoplastic polymer—DuPont™ Zytel® nylon. Dave has also worked as product manager for four other performance polymers product lines and has held various roles in the performance polymers manufacturing, technology and market development organizations over the last 27 years.