The spotlight is on automotive, a sector that remains crucial for the leather industry even though it is not so much suffering today from the lack of demand, but rather due to supply chain bottlenecks and the semiconductor crisis.
After record results in the first half of 2021, the shortage of microchips in the third and fourth quarters heavily affected the production capacity of the global automotive industry.
Despite the supply problems, according to an IHS Markit survey, the results of which you can read on the following pages, this year the global market is expected to grow by 3.7%.
Our FOCUS is therefore on leather destined for the automotive sector. For over a hundred years, leather has been used to upholster seats and car interiors and despite the problems it is still considered the material of choice for high-end vehicles. In this market segment, leather is able to express its best technical features and meet the most stringent requirements in terms of resistance to rubbing, wear, heat, light and so on.
Even in this area, however, competition from new materials is constantly increasing. For some car brands, it seems that the same transition towards electrification must review the choices for car interior upholstery, favouring leather-free materials that a certain type of marketing presents as more modern and sustainable. In this regard, we advise you to read the interview with the scientific director of the German research institute FILK, who has studied the composition of many of these materials passed off as bio-based or vegan, discovering that in reality they are not very different from classic faux leather or coated fabric.
To complete the Focus, you will find the sector development forecasts and the latest news in terms of automotive leathers and specific chemical products. In this first issue of 2022 we also welcome Jean-Pierre Gualino, the new president of IULTCS, the Internation Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies, who talks with cautious optimism about the current historical moment of the sector while anticipating the objectives of his mandate.
An interview with Ezio Castellani, the new president of Assoconciatori, also allows us to turn the spotlight on the Tuscan tanning area which today is raising its head after a critical year under many aspects.
Among the special issue pages you will also find the latest details on the organisation of EuroCongress IULTCS Vicenza 2022 along with many other industry and market news that we hope will be interesting.
Contents inside the special issue:
- Jean-Pierre Gualino new president of IULTCS
- Meat consumption in the UE to decline
- Automotive, the jibe of "vegan" interiors
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This special issue is powered by:
A.I.C.C. Associazione Italiana Chimici del Cuoio - Assomac Servizi s.r.l. - Bauce Tri.Ma s.r.l. - CHT Germany GmbH - Comelz S.p.A. - Corichem s.r.l. - Dermacolor s.r.l. - Dermakim s.r.l. - Dermochimica S.p.A. - Erretre S.p.A. - FGL International S.p.A. - Gemata S.p.A. - GSC Group S.p.A. - KLF Tecnokimica s.r.l. - SC Costruzioni Meccaniche s.r.l. - Silvachimica s.r.l. - Syn-Bios S.p.A.