SABIC joins Daimler, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp and Volkswagen as equity owners in the group.

The Federal State of Berlin has also held shares in INPRO since its founding in 1983.

INPRO develops innovative technologies for lightweight manufacturing and zero-defect production of automobiles. The group’s R&D focus includes the development of new production technologies for electric and hybrid vehicles. With the creation of innovative computer-based software tools, INPRO aims to shorten time-to-market and enhance the overall energy efficiency of automotive production.

SABIC has 45 years’ experience in engineering plastics material technologies and application development, primarily through the dedicated automotive division of its Innovative Plastics strategic business unit.

“With one of the world’s broadest thermoplastics portfolios, SABIC is a welcome addition to our business model of collaborative innovation,” says INPRO CEO Dr Gerd Eßer.

“Innovative materials are critical to the evolution and success of the automotive production process and are vital in lightweight component construction, increased fuel efficiency, high performance and lower production costs.”

According to Joachim von Heimburg, SABIC’s general manager of global innovation and corporate research programmes: “Today, more than ever before, breakthrough innovation is only possible through an ecosystem of interdependent industry leaders who know how to work together across the global value chain. As such, INPRO is an excellent fit for us and serves as yet another example of how we engage in the kind of collaboration that is necessary to fuel and accelerate automotive innovation."

"In addition, we see opportunity to draw from our experience with INPRO to help our corporate innovation and R&D organisation realize technology breakthroughs with customers in other industries and markets.”

The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2011.