The sales volume of Ultrasuede man-made suede from Toray Industries, Inc. during the first half of the current fiscal year (April-September 2016) appeared to have increased slightly year-on-year. Especially, exports grew mainly to the U.S. and China. The sales volume is expected to continue increasing in the fiscal second half.
During the fiscal first half, automotive applications supported sales with growths achieved in the U.S. and China, and sales in the Japanese domestic market were also strong. In the future, Toray intends to expand automotive applications including the major sector of car seats as well as ceiling materials and instrument panels.
The sales volume for consumer electronics is expanding. In addition to conventional smartphone covers, applications have expanded to headphones and the exterior of virtual reality equipment. The company plans to increase items for this sector, developing applications such as TV and audio visual systems.
Sales for furniture applications were affected by market conditions, but new sales channels have been growing. The 96-color color stock has been well received in the Japanese market, and Toray will strive to obtain customers in personal use and contract sectors. The color stock has also been popular in the U.S. with expansion in aircraft interior applications.
In apparel applications, sales are to be expanded with the introduction of new materials. Special emphasis will be placed on Ultrasuede Nu, which combines a suede-like touch with grain-like luster, and its use is increasing mainly in fashion items. In addition to aiming for further expansion in apparel applications, Toray intends to expand its applications in the automotive, furniture and aircraft interior sectors.