26. July 2017 | Nonwovens & Technical Textiles

Innovative technology offers optimum noise protection

Autoneum expanding its product portfolio for electric vehicles with Hybrid-Acoustics ECO+ for carpet systems, inner dashes and floor insulators.
Source: Autoneum
In the first half of 2017, Autoneum continued its growth course despite a weak market environment. Net sales in local currencies increased by 4.0 % in line with guidance. Sales in Swiss francs rose by 2.4 % to CHF 1,117.9 million (prior-year period: CHF 1,091.3 million). Business Groups Europe, Asia and SAMEA recorded organic sales growth that considerably exceeded the market level in the first six months. Year-on-year, the EBIT margin before special effects further improved to 8.3 %, thus again exceeding the 8 % mark. Net profit before special effects reached a new high of CHF 61.2 million (prior-year period: CHF 60.6 million).

To further expand its market and technology leadership in the future, Autoneum has made significant investments in global capacity expansion
This includes optimized development and expanded production facilities for its Ultra-Silent underbody technology in Germany and Switzerland as well as carpet production lines in Jeffersonville (Indiana), USA and in the new plants in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. For the North American market, Autoneum recently expanded its underbody offering to include plastic underbodies produced in Mexico. The Company also opened a new Technical Center in Novi (Michigan), USA in May. In addition to the development and adaptation of noise- and heat-reducing vehicle components for the regional market, vehicle pre-development studies for customers will also be conducted at this premises. In China, the world’s largest automotive market, capacity expansion is supporting the targeted sales growth. Market share gains achieved in the first six months of 2017 confirm the successful implementation of the Asia strategy.

Industry trends
Thanks to its capacity for innovation, Autoneum anticipates industry trends early on. Today, for example, the Company has not only a jump on offering components for vehicles with alternative drives, but has also started its first global Industry 4.0 project which will support efficiency improvements in production. Simultaneously, 2017 represents a new chapter in the Company’s Corporate Responsibility management. Through its commitment to transparency and by managing human and natural resources responsibly, the Company aims at making a decisive contribution to a sustainable future. In this context, Autoneum published its first Corporate Responsibility Report for the 2016 financial year in accordance with the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the leading global standard in sustainability reporting.

New mobility concepts
In light of new mobility concepts, the requirements automobile manufacturers and consumers are placing on vehicles are rising: They expect continuous improvement in driving performance, safety and comfort along with low environmental impact. Due to the extended use of the passenger compartment as a place of work and recreation, noise-reducing components are becoming increasingly important. Autoneum recognized this trend early on and this year launched the Di-Light carpet innovation. The non-woven carpet absorbs noise and thereby enhances driving comfort. With Hybrid-Acoustics ECO+ for carpet systems, inner dashes and floor insulators, Autoneum expanded its product portfolio for electric vehicles in the reporting period. This innovative technology is based on a novel fibrous material that offers optimum noise protection. Interior components made of Hybrid-Acoustics ECO+ are not only environ-mentally friendly owing to their high proportion of recycled fibers but also lightweight. In this way, Hybrid-Acoustics ECO+ is contributing to improving the driving range for electric vehicles and to lowering fuel consumption and emissions for internal combustion engine vehicles.

edited by Petra Gottwald

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