Changzhou, Jiangsu -- German auto supplier Benecke-Kaliko is building a EUR40m plant in China to produce 10m2 of imitation leather material for auto interiors.
The company, which is part of Continental Corp, will use Acella Eco and Acella Eco green technology to make the material at the new plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu province.
The low-emission, non-allergenic material will be used in back-foamed covers for seats and arm rests, according to Benecke-Kaliko.
A second expansion phase for the new facility is planned if demand continues to rise. The firm has been running series production since the end of 2015 with 100 workers and is set to employ a further 50 people over the next few months, the company said.
The Changzhou facility is operated by Benecke Changshun ECO Trim, a joint venture between Benecke-Kaliko and its Chinese partner Jiangsu Changshun Group Co.
Benecke-Kaliko ceo Dirk Leiss said: “This underlines the great importance of the Chinese market for us, as well as the excellent relations that Benecke-Kaliko has with its partners in the local automotive industry.
“From our Changzhou base, we can reach all of our automotive customers’ plants quickly and easily. We have also been collaborating for some time with scientists from the local university,” Leiss added.
The Benecke-Kaliko Group, headquartered in Hanover, Germany, operates seven manufacturing facilities in Germany, Spain, Poland, China and Mexico. Benecke-Kaliko and its 2,500-plus employees generated annual sales of 549 million euros in 2015.
A version of this article appeared in our sister publication Plastics News.