Alcantara, the Italian maker of material finding its way into more and more luxury vehicles, has tripled its sales since the recession and is adding more capacity at its home base in Italy, according to the company’s chairman and chief executive Andrea Boragno.
Boragno said Alcantara’s Italian manufacturing base is a vital part of its character and its broad appeal to a growing list of carmakers such as Alfa Romeo, Lexus, Lincoln, Nissan and Volkswagen.
“The growing appeal of Alcantara is one of the reasons why we have announced a five-year investment program totaling 300 Euros million in order to double the company’s overall production capacity,” Boragno said.
“More and more companies are turning to Alcantara for its functional, emotional and technological qualities, and its strong commitment to sustainability,” Boragno added.
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During the press preview for the Los Angeles Auto Show, Porsche unveiled its 718 Boxster GTS and 718 Cayman GTS with seating surfaces, dash panels, center consoles, steering wheels, headliners and sun visors covered with a dark grey Alcantara.
Two months ago, Audi, BMW and Maserati also unveiled new models with Alcantara at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in Germany.
In addition, the Porsche Panamera 4S, Macan GTS, Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Porsche 911 GT3 and Porsche Carrera T were shown with various Alcantara trimmed seating, steering wheels, sun visors, dash panels, center consoles and headliners.
Alfa Romeo’s Giulia, Motor Trend’s 2018 Car of the Year, was displayed in its Quadrifoglio Verde edition with the steering wheel and seats trimmed with Alcantara as well as the recently presented Stelvio Quadrifoglio Verde. Lincoln announced its new Nautilus showcasing a Black Label edition equipped with an Alcantara headliner.
“Our relationship with the design community in the automotive industry, as well as throughout the fashion, home decor and consumer electronics industries, has helped us significantly increase sales and brand awareness over the last decade,” Boragno said.
Cars and light trucks from Acura, BMW and Dodge were among a host of other vehicles on turntables and displays in Los Angeles that were equipped with Alcantara as well.
Boragno said he expects Alcantara said he expects Alcantara will continue to take market share from leather in the market for luxury.
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Acantara is lighter than leather and helps manufacturers reduced the overall weight vehicle of vehicles while maintaining a luxurious feel, he added. It also can be dyed in an enormous range of colors to fit with contemporary designs, he said.
The rising popularity of Alcantara is reflected in the company’s sales, Boragno noted.
The company’s net sales have increased from 64.3 million Euros in 2009 to 187.2 million Euros in 2016. Operating profits have increased from 7.9 million Euros to 45.1 million euro’s during the same stretch.
“Our high-tech craftsman approach to luxury resonates well with automakers and consumers alike,” Boragno said. Brand value also is expected to triple from an Interbrand 2015 value estimate of €100 million to €300 million over the same period.
Founded in 1972, Alcantara to produce an innovative, fiber material through a special process developed by the company. The end product offers a combination of sensory, aesthetic and functional qualities. that is now used in fashion and for accessories, in automotive applications as well as interior design and home décor and even consumer-electronics.
Alcantara also has won recognition for its commitment to sustainability, making Alcantara an icon of contemporary lifestyle that enjoys everyday life and respects the environment.
Since 2009, the company has been certified as “Carbon Neutral,” having defined, reduced and offset all the carbon dioxide emissions from activities.
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“Alcantara is the first Italian industrial company and among the very first companies in the world to have achieved the status of carbon neutrality,” Boragno added.