07 May 2002 18:41 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--General Motors (GM) has approved the use of a new vinyl-like material made by plastics producer A Schulman, opening the door to an initial market worth a projected $20m (Euro22m) and priming the automotive industry for additional approvals, A Schulman said Tuesday.
Although the Akron, Ohio-based company declined to place a dollar value on the approval by GM, analysts at Merrill Lynch (ML) reported the $20m projection in a report last November concerning the outlook for the new polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free material called Invision.
Schulman did tell CNI it expects the approval will create a minimum Invision market of 454 tonne in the next year.
The company described the approval as the first step toward introducing Invision into GM vehicles through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in a wide range of automotive interior components.
Schulman's Jane Maselli noted that the company's customers have launched their own PVC-free automotive interior initiatives and Schulman views development of Invision as its response.
The company said Invision addresses market demand for PVC-free compounds that are soft and leather-like in texture without sacrificing scratch-resistance, weatherability, colourability, moisture resistance and other critical performance characteristics.
Schulman's Invision polyolefin product portfolio focuses on injection moulding compounds for applications such as armrests, assist handles, console lids, shifter knobs and other items made from extrusion and blow moulding processes.
Shares of Schulman were trading 2.9% higher Tuesday at $21.20/share - just below the company's 52-week high of $21.82 and well above the low of $8.98.
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