Breaking News – Also BASF is focusing its Leather and Textile Chemicals

Also BASF is focusing its Leather and Textile Chemicals

BASF, the German giant chemical company is focusing its leather and textile chemical business on high value adding applications and will establish a global innovation centre in China and will  adapt its organisational setup to market needs

BASF is to re-shape its Leather and Textile Chemical business with an increased focus on the growing Asia Pacific region and high value adding applications such as applications for the leather automotive industry and premium textile products. The global R&D acitivities for both business divisions will be established in Shanghai, China.

According to François  Desné, Senior Vice President , Global Business Unit Leather and Textile Chemicals within BASF declares “that BASF strives to remain the preferred partner of the leather and textile industries for reliable and innovative chemical solutions and therefore we are  re-shaping our business setup to strengthen our long term ability to compete in a rapidly changing market environment”.

What does the focus mean on growth areas and high value added applications?  BASF will implement specific measures to focus the geographic presence and innovation efforts in order to grow in profitable and with high value adding applications. Leather Chemicals will concentrate on core technologies for the automotive and premium leather segment. Textile Chemicals will focus on value adding steps such as printing and finishing while providing solutions for the manufacturing of premium textile articles.

However, the global innovation centre will be established in the future in China. The reason: Asia, in particular China, are the key growth market for the business, thus BASF is establishing a global innovation centre for both Leather and Textile Chemicals in Shanghai. It will be located within the BASF Innovation Campus in Shanghai, the centre will form part of the R&D innovation compound which serves as a platform of excellence for integrated R&D resources and applications to produce the best solutions for the market. Fine, the companies policy is to bet on the most rewarding solutions with a focus on Asia and China, but at TextileFuture we feel that is neglecting the innovative type of textile business in Europe and is not only beneficial to the European Textile Industry. This manifests also the concentration to support the growth regions and to increase its efficiency towards the market with organisational overhaul. The planned measures will lead to a reduction of about 65 jobs globally, including 29 in Ludwigshafen (D).  In order to support the expected growth, for example in China, India and Turkey, the organisation will build up around 23 jobs. BASF expects to complete the planned measures by the end of 2014.

We at TextileFuture are voicing the opinion that the European Textile Industry – proven to be the spearhead of innovation – will be somehow given up in order to make the Textile Chemical business more rewarding to BASF.  We feel that is a minimisation of competence needed in the European Textile Chemical business. Of course we recognise that BASF as a company is authorised to behave like that but many European Textile Chemical customers will be appalled and turn away from BASF to other Textile Chemical companies. We further feel that for profit terms BASF is a sort of deserting ist long time European Customers. We disapprove of this movement, in particular the interest of European customers are not even cited in the press release! One should not forget that BASF is a German organisation with worldwide activities. Nevertheless, European customers are not to be deserted because they have shown loyalty to the Chemical giant for many decades. When the business focus is only put on Asian interests, we end up in the same situation we noted in  the 1990s when textile machinery manufacturers served the specialty European Textile Industry only at high cost when taking their needs into consideration. It is not just that Europeans have to pay a higher price to serve their requirements possibly not understood by Chinese researchers who are closely to their own market needs. We feel that European textile customers will pay a higher premium to see their need fulfilled and this is an attitude that is completely selfish to BASF. We reckon the fact that a company is free to make its choice, but also customers are free to find the suppliers that feed their needs. The decision of BASF in the Textile Chemical and Leather Industry area is to be criticised as unbalanced and completely ignoring the loyalty of its European customers! Especially a giant in the fields of interest should consider all needs and face up to his deed serving all, without discrimination of European and other geographical regions customers and laying only the accent on profitable regions and future perspectives. A giant should be reminded of its corporate responsibilities and should show more sensibilities!  

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