It is softer, more comfortable and luxurious. Leather appeal lies in those qualities: that is why car buyers prefer leather to other materials for seat upholstery. Stephen Jeske, vice-president of US GST Autoleather, has closely described the situation of the industry. Looking ahead to prospective scenarios and considering current trends, it turns out that leather seats take a prominent role indeed. Conversely, alternative options, namely synthetic materials, often lead buyers to subsequently opt for another brand when they go for their next purchase.
The leather scenario
The manager of the company (in the picture) gave a speech during a webinar arranged by the Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industry (CICB) together with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). They right focused on the automotive industry. Jeske, who is the leader of one of the most important leather component suppliers in the industry, remarked that worldwide car manufacturing will supposedly get back to its normal standards, ahead of the pandemic outbreak, in 2024. Over the next four years, petrol-engine vehicles are due to decrease in number, whereas hybrid cars will increase progressively: they will account for 45% of the market.
According to data provided by the manager, 69% of customers prefer leather for upholstering their car seats. Why? Not only because leather is soft and comfortable (as stated by 71% of them), but also because it has a luxurious effect (70%). For the records, some of them happened to buy a vehicle whose seats were sold as if they were made from leather. Yet later buyers found out that seats were upholstered, as a matter of fact, with synthetic materials. 53% of them have stated they will “probably” or “surely” opt for another brand when they go for their next purchase.
- Automotive: “We are in China to stay”, GST inaugurates the new plant in Jiaxing (the 14th in the world)
- Automotive: Faurecia speed up in the first quarter (+9,3%), GST encourage designers to believe in leather, “more sustainable than synthetics”