The growth of the leather chemicals market has been closely associated with the development of the automotive industry in recent years. In 2014, 87 million light vehicles were produced globally. 

Taking into account the challenges faced by the industry, BASF promotes regular dialogues between OEMs and tanneries in order to better understand the latest standards required for resource savings and consumer safety.

The chemical supplier has been organising a series of workshops in Brazil and China, bringing together over 200 participants from key automotive leather tanneries and automotive OEMs, to address emerging trends facing the industry.  It is expected that about 57% of light vehicles’ production will come from emerging markets in Asia and South America by 2020.

As a result of these exchanges, the global chemical supplier has recently launched a new generation of topcoat systems that achieves a 20% higher durability compared to the industry benchmark and meets the most stringent requirements from original equipment manufacturers in terms of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and consumer safety.

Similarly, BASF’s Astacin PU binders and topcoats enable tanners to achieve leathers that are approximately 20% lighter than standard automotive leather but with comparable tear strength as well as a natural look, with improved water vapour permeability that fulfills the automotive fastness’ requirements.

BASF had sales of over €74 billion in 2014 and employs around 113,000 people. Its shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN).