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      Press Release
      June 02, 2022

      Continental's Benova Eco Protect: Milestone on the Way to Sustainable Vehicle Interiors

      • Innovative material impresses with high durability, soft feel, and exceptional high value appeal
      • Honored with the renowned German Innovation Award
      • Properties enable new interior design trends with bright colors on challenging surfaces
      • Resource-saving and energy-efficient production

      Hanover, Germany, June 2, 2022. Continental has developed a brand-new premium surface material: Benova Eco Protect. Its advantages: It makes vehicle interiors more sustainable, durable, and comfortable at the same time. The surface material is currently being manufactured in Germany. Further production capacities will be made available at Continental's American plant in Winchester, Virginia.

      "Whether on the instrument panel, door panel, side or center console, seat cover or headrest – wherever Benova Eco Protect is used, it impresses with its particularly soft feel and exceptional value appeal combined with outstanding aging resistance and fastness to light," says Christian Noell, Global Head of Segment Automotive for the surface specialist. "Due to its excellent heat and UV resistance, the material also withstands special environmental influences in the vehicle compartment. This makes it particularly durable." Thanks to the choice of suitable base materials and the optimal interaction of the entire construction, even prolonged heat of 120°C cannot harm Benova Eco Protect. In addition, these properties enable new interior design trends through the use of bright colors on demanding surfaces.

      Good eco-balance

      "On the road to sustainable vehicle interiors, Benova Eco Protect is an important milestone in the product development," emphasizes Gabriele Wittmann, Global Director Research at Continental. "By consistently avoiding any critical ingredients, plasticizers and solvents, the material is particularly low in emissions and odors and has a low Product Carbon Footprint." The material of Continental meets the requirements of all OEM-specific substance prohibition and declaration lists, of the GADSL (Global Automotive Declarable Substance List), and the EU Chemicals Regulation REACh.

      Benova Eco Protect also offers a weight advantage of about 20 percent and is free of materials of animal origin. In addition, the resource-conserving and energy-efficient production process make a positive contribution to the eco-balance of the entire vehicle. For example, no solvents are evaporated during the drying process, eliminating the need for after-treatment of exhaust gases. Benova Eco Protect has a thickness of 0.9 mm to 4.3 mm, its material backing consists of textile, polyurethane foam, sandwich foam or spacer fabric.

      Winner of German Innovation Award

      The commitment to product development of Benova Eco Protect has paid off: In recognition of its high degree of innovation the German Design Council has appointed the material "Winner" in the "Excellence in Business to Business" class in the Materials & Surfaces category out of 640 entries. The German Innovation Award honors solutions that make our lives better and contribute to a better future. In this competition, Benova Eco Protect impressed the jury with its innovative properties.

      The German Innovation Award has been presented since 1953 by the German Design Council as the world's leading competence center for communication and knowledge transfer in the field of design, brand and innovation. It honors innovative achievements from a wide range of industries that break new ground through their added value. The focus is on the user experience.

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