Benecke-Kaliko to open 2nd plant in China; investing EUR40 mn

Supplier of surface materials for automotive interiors Benecke-Kaliko is strengthening its involvement in Asia. The foundation stone for the company’s second plant in China will be laid before the end of fall 2014. With an investment of EUR40 million for the first phase of the expansion, this is the largest investment in the company’s history. “This shows the major importance of the Chinese market, but also the good relations between Benecke-Kaliko and our partners in trade and industry,” says Chairman of the Executive Board Dr Dirk Leiss.

Production is scheduled to start in late 2015. Up to 250 employees will manufacture the German firm’s Acella Eco series surface materials on 24,000 sq m of shop floor space. The material, which is environmentally compatible, low in emissions and non-allergenic, is destined for the Chinese automotive industry. The company says it has already received the first orders.

“The new plant is Benecke-Kaliko’s response to the continued very high demand for our products and solutions. Our second plant in China will make a substantial contribution to our continued success in penetrating global markets,” according to Leiss.

There is strong growth in demand from automakers in China in particular for high-quality and, at the same time, environmentally compatible materials for automotive interiors, added Leiss. Automakers are thus meeting the wishes of car buyers, but also the Chinese government’s aim of increasing the air quality in automotive interiors. If demand continues to grow, therefore, a second expansion phase at the Changzhou plant will be possible, enabling production capacity there to be doubled.

A division of ContiTech of Continental, Benecke-Kaliko develops and manufactures soft trim and decorative surface materials at four locations in China, Germany and Mexico. In 2012, 237,400 sq m of sheeting material was produced daily and in 2013, it realised sales of EUR392 million.

(IMA)

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