Magna begins production of all-thermoplastic liftgate

The liftgate for the 2014 Nissan Rogue is said to be the North American auto industry's first all-thermoplastic, composite, fully recyclable liftgate module.

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Magna International Inc. (Aurora, Ontario, Canada) announced on April 15 that its Magna Exteriors operating unit is producing the North American automotive industry's first all-thermoplastic, composite, fully recyclable liftgate module for the 2014 Nissan Rogue crossover utility vehicle.

The Rogue liftgate is unique in that all materials are fully olefinic and therefore fully recyclable at the end of the vehicle's life, and it features the first painted outer panel made from thermoplastic olefin. The full liftgate assembly is 30 percent lighter than comparable stamped steel systems, which helps contribute to the vehicle's overall fuel economy increase. The liftgate was an award-winner in November 2013 in the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE, Troy, Mich., USA) annual automotive awards competition. 

Magna developed the liftgate in collaboration with Nissan, Hitachi Chemical, and materials suppliers LyondellBasell and Advanced Composites Inc. (Sydney, Ohio, USA). Magna serves as the Tier 1 supplier in North America. The liftgate assembly is made by Magna Exteriors' Decostar division in Carrollton, Ga, USA, and is delivered to Nissan as a module for single-point installation at its Smyrna, Tenn., USA, assembly plant.

"We worked with Nissan and our team of suppliers for a number of years to bring this innovation to life," says Joe Pittel, global president Magna Exteriors, Interiors and Seating. "The success of our customers is a testament to the hard work of our entire team and helps validate Magna's commitment to solving challenges with an innovative spirit and can-do attitude."