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CARE Car: Waste as a Raw Material in Automotive Manufacture

Published 05-24-00

Submitted by Stellantis

Working with 26 supplier companies, DaimlerChrysler engineers are developing new concepts and manufacturing methods to increase the amount of recycled materials in the company's vehicles. Under the CARE Car project, the group has now developed two vehicles that optimize the use of recycled materials, including waste such as plastic bottles, glass, foamed material, carpet and used tires. Ideas developed in the two CARE Car project vehicles, both Dodge Stratus models, will be assessed for wider use in DaimlerChrysler.

With these test vehicles, DaimlerChrysler is investigating a number of concepts for the introduction of products that are 85 percent recyclable by the year 2002. By 2005, every vehicle manufactured by DaimlerChrysler is to be recyclable to no less than 95 percent by weight.

Until now, the recycling of many materials was too expensive or not practical. The CARE Car project demonstrates where advancements are possible. The two Dodge Stratus test vehicles already contain a higher portion of recycled plastic than is required by DaimlerChrysler corporate criteria for the year 2005.

In the United States, 26 suppliers under the leadership of DaimlerChrysler have set out to devise new concepts and manufacturing methods for the two CARE automobiles, using recycled materials ("Concept for Advanced Recycling and Environment").

The principle objective is to uphold the company's high safety, comfort and quality standards while at the same time maintaining or even reducing the low level of costs. In one of the CARE Cars, the supplier developed a roof lining consisting entirely of PET, replacing a material mix that was used previously. The roof lining can now be removed and entirely recycled.

The CARE automobiles are being subjected to a series of performance and load tests that will continue into the year 2000. The engineers are investigating to what extent the materials comply with corporate quality requirements. The test results will show which of these new developments can then actually be incorporated into the manufacturing process.

The ideas presented in the CARE automobile are not restricted to the Dodge Stratus. The concepts are also destined to be implemented in further vehicle models of the Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler and Plymouth trademarks.

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