Mar. 14, 2013

Toray Industries, Inc.

Toray Announces New Brand Strategy for Global Business of Alcantara® and Ultrasuede®

Toray Industries, Inc. (headquarters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Akihiro Nikkaku; hereinafter referred to as "Toray") announced a new brand strategy upon pursuing global expansion of its unique branded material business.

Toray will position Alcantara® and Ultrasuede® as its global brands for all applications around the world. Alcantara®, made in Italy, and Ultrasuede®, made in Japan, will respectively embody the product and conceptual aspects of their production centers, with under separate management, Alcantara® by Alcantara S.p.A. and Ultrasuede® by Toray’s Ecsaine Business Department.

The two materials, Alcantara® and Ultrasuede®, share the same technology, developed by Toray scientist, the late Miyoshi Okamoto, in 1970, that remains unrivalled even today. Through the years, the brands built their respective identities.

Alcantara S.p.A. is based in Italy and the Alcantara® material is completely "Made in Italy". The material is manufactured at the plant located in Rome’s suburb. Major changes have been developed on the original base technology in terms of technical know-how, production, research and development and sustainability issues and tailor made solutions. Further, Alcantara®, under its mainly Italian management, has succeeded in building a unique worldwide reputation as a European luxury brand. As a consequence, Alcantara S.p.A. decided to promote Alcantara® directly in the Japanese market by itself.

The Ultrasuede® brand was originally established in the U.S. market with Toray’s production in Japan. Under the new brand policy, it will be supported by Japanese technology and promoted under Toray’s corporate brand worldwide as the cool image of a Made in Japan tag. Ecsaine Department of Toray will entirely handle the products.

In the meantime, the popular Ecsaine® brand will continue to be sold in Japan for applications other than automotive such as fashion and interior.

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