New Plant: Benecke-Kaliko Manufactures Low-Emission Automotive Interior Surface Material in China

Ground-breaking ceremony for Benecke-Kaliko's new plant in Changzhou (Photo: ContiTech)
(PresseBox) ( Hanover/Changzhou, )
- Automotive interior material from Benecke-Kaliko wins over Chinese automotive industry
- Air quality in vehicle: Acella® Eco trim material meets Chinese regulations
- At 40 million Euros, construction of plant is largest investment in company's history
- Series production scheduled to start at end of this year

Today saw the groundbreaking ceremony for Benecke-Kaliko's new plant in Changzhou, China. Benecke-Changshun ECO Trim, a joint venture between Benecke-Kaliko and its Chinese partner Jiangsu Changshun Group Co., Ltd, will exclusively manufacture the environment-friendly, low-emission and allergen-free automotive trim material Acella® Eco at the new site. This comes in response to great demand from the Chinese automotive industry for eco optimized surface solutions from Benecke-Changshun that ensure the stringent legislation pertaining to air quality of vehicle cockpits is achieved.

"The construction of the new site in Changzhou also represents an important cornerstone of our self-image in terms of sustainability, environmental responsibility and innovation leadership," says Dr. Ralf Cramer, Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG, President & CEO of Continental China. As a business unit of ContiTech AG, Benecke-Kaliko is part of the internationally operating Continental Corporation. Benecke-Kaliko is investing nearly 40 million euros in the construction of the plant for phase 1, making its mark as the largest investment in the company's history. The workforce will approach 250 employees and they will produce Acella® Eco surface material at the 24,000 square meter facility.

"Our customers in the Chinese automotive market are turning more and more to sustainable, green products - the new emissions legislation for car interiors has major influence on this movement, but the active effort of society to take care for human health is also a key motivating influence factor," explained Dr. Dirk Leiss, Chairman of the Executive Board of Benecke-Kaliko AG as he continued in stating, "We have been developing low-odor and low-emission surface solutions and measuring pollutants in vehicles for decades and in building the new plant, we are now making our expertise available to our business partners locally in China as well."

Acella® Eco is an environmentally friendly product that lends to good air quality in vehicle interior cockpits

Only water-based paints are used in the production of Acella® Eco surface material, which is one of the essential elements needed to achieve the lowest possible emission level within the material and guarantees environmental friendly production. Acella® Eco is suitable for long-term direct contact with the skin and does not contain antimony or any heavy metals. Its applications include vehicle seats, door trim, and decorative surfaces. "The plant in Changzhou is another important milestone for us in our green production and shows the confidence already placed in us by our customers in the Chinese market," says Heinz-Gerhard Wente, CEO of ContiTech AG.

Series production will start at the end of this year as the first orders have already been secured. At full capacity in Changzhou, the operation is capable of producing 10 million square meters of Acella® Eco products on an annual basis. "This represents a 100% increase in our capacity in China," says Leiss. The new plant is breaking ground just one year after Benecke-Changshun Auto Trim Zhangjiagang completed a major expansion broadening local manufacturing capability to include TEPEO® foils. "Growing our presence in the Chinese market is to our advantage as it enables us to act fast, best support the needs of our customers and excel in meeting the evolving local market requirements," concluded Dr. Leiss.
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