Ontario's auto parts industry comprises more than 400 manufacturers and 135,000 workers. It shipped $31 billion of product in 2005. Because of manufacturing efficiencies and research and development incentives, costs are lower in Ontario than comparable operations in the United States (Government of Ontario )
The Ontario BioAuto Council sees Ontario's potential to lead the global bio-based auto parts industry, as well. Initiatives are well underway in Ontario to optimize the use of renewable materials in everything from mirror casings and bumpers, to door panels, seat foams and upholstery.
Major Ontario players have already hit the market with a variety of automotive products derived from renewable resources. The Woodbridge Group and Cargill Inc. have partnered to produce plant-based polyurethane parts used in interior applications. BioFoam™ manufactured by Woodbridge, is currently made with up to 25% bio-based materials. BioFoam™ feels and performs the same as conventional polyurethane foams, but is produced using a Cargill polyol called BiOH™ . Soybeans are crushed and refined to form the BiOH™ polyol, which is combined with other agents to mold foam for seats, arm-rests and overhead systems.
More Ontario bio-based auto parts are slotted for first-quarter production in 2008 with new bioproduct lines from DuPont. Fabrics, carpets and automotive interiors are all derivatives of DuPont's Sorona Polymer, which provides superior durability and stain resistance. Another DuPont bioproduct named Cerenol is poised to give automotive coatings greater chip resistance and flexibility.
Manufacturers everywhere realize the market advantages of delivering a smaller ecological footprint to consumers, while reducing the dependence on crude oil. The Ontario BioAuto Council is well-positioned to partner with auto parts manufacturers in Canada, Japan, Europe and the United States to deliver the products the industry needs.