Brussels -- BASF is expanding its Cellasto automotive business, adding a site in Shanghai, scheduled for completion in the first half of 2011. "With our existing sites in North and South America, Asia and Europe, we have strengthened our market position in the past years," said Kenneth Lane, senior vice president, strategic marketing polyurethanes.
"Producing and supplying products in the same region that our customer is located is critical to our long-term success," Lane added, in a 1 July BASF statement.
BASF supplies its Cellasto spring aids and top mounts made of microcellular polyurethane (PU) to automotive manufacturers worldwide. The company notes that the successful expansion of this business is mainly the result of global key account management.
"BASF can offer its customers a solution on a global scale - an unbeatable advantage, because customers not only save on development costs, they also have a reliable single global supplier," commented Lane. Some 20 key account managers and their teams support the Cellasto business and can quickly offer competitive solutions to customers in every region, BASF said.
According to BASF, Cellasto has gained market share, especially in the PU top mounts and spring isolators business. Examples include new global platforms for cars such as the Opel Astra and the new Citroen C4 or the new global GM platforms such as Delta, Epsilon, and Gamma, which will all be fitted world-wide with BASF top mounts from 2011 onward.
"We see in the first months of 2010 that Cellasto continues to show attractive profitable growth," Lane said, adding: "A lot of NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) components in cars are still made using conventional rubber. We are pursuing a clear strategy to replace rubber as a material."
BASF says this elastomer replacement is possible because Cellasto is not only more robust and durable, it also has superior physical properties when it comes to isolating vibrations from whatever source: Cellasto minimises noise from the engine, vibrating chassis and rumbling shock absorbers and reduces strut vibrations.
The microcellular PU foam also saves space and weight due to its excellent volume compressibility. This feature makes the material ideal for high durable and compression tasks in confined areas of a chassis, while also providing increased safety and comfort. New applications such as steering dampers and roll restrictors are expected to open up other new attractive markets.
BASF claims that Cellasto is "inside every second car manufactured in the world," and that "Nine out of ten carmakers use BASF spring aids."
PIC: Cellasto part production at BASF's Wyanadotte, Michigan, facility.