Japan's Toray Industries Inc says it will be the first company to mass produce carbon fiber auto parts. Toray will invest 20 billion yen ($170 million) into new carbon fiber car parts, targeting chassis and car bodies. Toray will build a research center next year and start auto parts production in 2010. Toray expects its sales of auto parts (including non-carbon fiber ones) to grow from 124 billion yen this year to 350 billion yen in the year 2016.

Toray is currently the sole supplier of carbon fiber for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. Toray has said it intends to invest 55 billion yen into expanding the carbon fiber market by 24,000 tons: more than tripling the capacity in 2003, securing 40 percent of the carbon fiber market.

That's a lot of carbon fiber.

[Source: CNN, Reuters]