Ford Motor's research laboratory in Dearborn, MI, and the GE research and development center in Schenectady, NY will join forces in a five-year, $10.8 million joint venture program to demonstrate the ability to manufacture structural composite parts for automobiles from cyclic thermoplastic polymers. The U.S. Department of Commerce will support the joint venture with approximately $5.3 million in funding. The remaining $5.5 million in program costs will be shared by Ford and GE. The development program will focus on the use of a cyclic ester material that boasts outstanding resistance to common automotive solvents, such as gasoline and brake fluid. The technical program will culminate with the fabrication of a generic automotive structural part under conditions similar to those required for volume production. Documentation on how the part was made and how it performs will be made available to the U.S. auto industry as a whole through the Automotive Composites Consortium, a group devoted to accelerating the use of composites in vehicles. Other participants in the program are Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, PPG, and American Leistritz - subcontractors to GE, and the University of Tulsa and Industrial Technology Institute - subcontractors to Ford.