Benecke-KalikoChina – The joint venture between Benecke-Kaliko and its Chinese partner, Jiangsu Changshun Group, plans to manufacture Acella Eco trim material at the upcoming facility. Benecke-Changshun ECO Trim says it has been seeing high demand from the Chinese automotive industry for what it calls “eco-optimised surface solutions”, which can help to meet strict air quality rules for vehicle cockpits.

Construction work for Phase One of the plant will require an expenditure of €40m ($46.5m) by Benecke-Kaliko, the largest investment in the company’s history. The 24,000 sq.m facility will accommodate nearly 250 personnel, and with first orders already secured, series production will begin at the end of this year. At full capacity, the plant will be able to make 10m sq.m of Acella Eco products per annum.

“We have been developing low-odour 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,” commented Dirk Leiss, chairman of the executive board at Benecke-Kaliko, a business unit of ContiTech and part of Continental Corporation. Production of Acella Eco involves only water-based paints; applications include door trim, seats and decorative surfaces.

“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,” said Ralf Cramer, member of the executive board of Continental AG, and president and CEO of Continental China.

The groundbreaking at Changhzou comes one year after Benecke-Changshun Auto Trim Zhangjiagang completed a major expansion, broadening its local manufacturing capability to include Tepeo foils.