Conventional carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) requires at least five minutes to be molded into an automotive part, which has limited its use to high-end vehicles. The Teijin Group, Tokyo, Japan, now has the capacity to mass produce CFRP that can be molded in less than one minute, a development that may expand the use of composites in vehicle design and manufacture. The process uses an alternative to thermosetting resins and allows production of three new types of intermediate materials by impregnating carbon fiber with a thermoplastic resin. These three materials include unidirectional arrangement of carbon fibers; isotropic design for shape, flexibility and multidirectional strength; and a long-fiber thermoplastic pellet suited for injection molding of complex parts. The company also has developed methods to weld thermoplastic CFRP parts with materials such as steel, to reduce the use of metal in the vehicle manufacturing process. Teijin recently established a new carbon fibers and composites business group.