“We have long identified the automotive industry as the biggest single potential user of our low cost, high-performance carbon fibres,” says Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek Chairman and CEO. “While Zoltek has been active in developing automotive applications for carbon fibres for many years, the launch of Zoltek Automotive represents a new initiative to more closely align our development activities with the market opportunities we have identified."

Zoltek has appointed David Stewart, founder of Stewart Automotive Research, as Chief Executive, and Martin O’Connor as President of Zoltek Automotive.

“The value proposition and regulatory environment for carbon fibre automotive components have never been better,” says Stewart. “There is a large and rapidly growing range of applications where these materials are ready to come out of the laboratory and into high-volume production. Our goal at Zoltek Automotive is to combine the materials expertise of Zoltek Companies Inc with the automotive analysis tools, testing capabilities, and process knowledge of Stewart Research to match emerging light-weighting opportunities with the right composite designs and manufacturing processes.”

Zoltek Automotive will be based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, at the Zoltek headquarters.

Rumy says that Zoltek Automotive will be funded through Zoltek Companies Inc research and development budget.

"Going forward, we are targeting our research and development spend at between 6 to 8% of our total revenues, and most of that will be concentrated on downstream product development, including the activities that will take place in Zoltek Automotive,” he reports.