Our Automotive business line is built around two distinctive activities, both which serve high-demanding global Tier-1 customers as well as original equipment makers (OEM) in the automotive sector.
With our Interiors division (Recticel Automotive) we want to be an active partner in the development, production and commercialization of innovative elastomer interior solutions for cars. Our renowned dashboard skins, cockpit and door panel trim parts on the basis of our unique, patented, pigmented light-stable PU compounds and certified Colo-Fast® and Colo-Sense® Lite spray technology are more and more used in the design-sensitive car interiors segment.
Today our Interiors division operates globally from 11 production sites in China (5), the Czech Republic (2), Germany (2) and the United States (2).
Next to the technology-driven Interiors business, we are also offering moulded comfort foam pads for car seats. This Seating business is done through Proseat, the 51/49 joint venture between Recticel and Woodbridge. Over the last years Proseat has gradually been diversifying its product offering by adding trim parts and EPP products to its catalogue.
Our Seating division, which geographical footprint is restricted to Europe, has 8 production sites in the Czech Republic (1), France (1), Germany (2), Poland (2), Spain (1) and the United Kingdom (1).
Our Automotive segment accounts for 19.9% of our Group’s total combined sales.
which develops, produces and commercialises interior solutions (dashboard skins and door panel trim) on the basis of the unique, certified Colo-Fast® spray technology.
Recticel car interiors are extremely long-lasting and resilient, and an inspiration during the whole life of a vehicle. Many years of experience and confirmation in serial production are reflected in our components visible in the finest details. Even smalles radii or light-colored surfaces can be produced with a high level of quality, thus setting the base for sophisticated interiors of perceptible perfection and functional durability.
Colo-Fast® is the base material for all interior components manufactured by Recticel Automotive. As a result of a continuously improved production process and for the need to respond to the permanently increasing demands in the automotive market, Colo-Fast® as patented material has proven its excellence over many years, always setting standards for high quality automotive components and thus gaining a leading position in the market. Colo-Fast® delivers an optimal performance for sophisticated interiors in terms of color, grain, function and dimensional stability. The advancement of Colo-Fast® provides a weight reduction of 25% compared to thermoplastic slush skin. With Colo-Sense® Lite weight reduction will be even more than 35%. The current status of development is the creation of comfort foam with low density and partially thinner foam layers maintaining its material properties.
The various components require dedicated production processes:
- Spray technology in monotone and multi-tone
- Reaction injection molding (RIM)
- Reaction injection overmolding (ROM)
STRATEGY AND PROSPECTS: SHAPING THE FUTURE
Over the last sixteen years, Recticel Automotive (previously known as Recticel Interior Solutions) has made an important contribution to the growth of the Automotive business line with its unique patented Colo-Fast® spray technology.
As a consequence of the current, serious economic crisis which hit the automotive industry hard, Recticel has had to adapt its ambitions for this sector. The revision of the original plans was dictated by the considerable structural degree of risk of the Automotive business line in the long term on the one hand and the extremely capital intensive character of these activities on the other. Therefore the Group further modified its position with regard to the Automotive business line in the strategic practice of last year.
Unlike in the past, the focus will no longer be on growth. In the short term, attention will be focused on maintaining existing market positions, expansion to China and improving global cost-effectiveness as priorities.
The seating division, which runs via the joint venture Proseat is also heavily exposed to the new developments of the market. One of the most important challenges for this division involves coming up with a suitable response to the increasing trend for insourcing among suppliers in the automotive industry.
The production and commercialisation of pre-moulded solid foam seating for the automotive industry has already been assured by the joint venture Proseat for a number of years. Recticel has 51% control of Proseat and the Woodbridge (Canada) group has 49%.
Today it can be stated that Proseat, with its nine production plants spread over seven countries, is one of the biggest independent producers of seating for the European automotive industry. In addition to seating, Proseat also manufactures other seating components such as headrests, armrests and side panels for car seats.