Magna International is now producing North America’s first all-thermoplastic olefin liftgate module for the 2014 Nissan Rogue crossover utility vehicle. Magna says the liftgate is unique in that it is made from entirely recyclable materials. It is the first painted outer panel made from thermoplatic olefin. The use of plastic rather than stamped steel makes the assembly 30 per cent lighter, which will contribute to the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, Magna says. The injection mould production of the assembly also allows Magna to manufacture the assembly complete, with all inner trim and reinforcements, as well as running lights and electronics.
The liftgate was developed in collaboration with Nissan and several materials suppliers. Last November it was recognized by the Society of Plastics Engineers as the year’s most innovative use of plastics in the auto industry.
The liftgate assembly is made by Magna Exteriors’ Decostar division in Carrollton, Georgia, and is delivered to Nissan as a module for single-point installation at its Smyrna, Tennessee, assembly plant.
Magna announced earlier that it would create seventy-five new jobs at its Dortec manufacturing plant in Newmarket, Ontario. The company will spend $1.5-million expanding the Magna Closures unit which produces electronic control modules for power closure and roof systems. The plant will also produce a new electronic side-door latch.
“We expect electronic closure and latching technologies to be a game-changer for the industry over the next five years and they will eventually become the future mainstream design,” Magna Closures president Frank Seguin said in a statement.