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Textile Outlook International
Issue 131:
September-October 2007

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Reports in this issue
Editorial: Textiles and Clothing in China: Competitive Threat or Market Opportunity? (3 pages)
World textile and apparel trade and production trends, September-October 2007 (76 pages)
Global trends in fibre prices, production and consumption, September-October 2007 (26 pages)
Survey of the European Yarn and Fabric Fairs for Autumn/Winter 2008/09 (21 pages)
World markets for textile machinery: part 2 -- fabric manufacture, September-October 2007 (41 pages)
The Rise of Japanese Textile Suppliers to the US Automotive Industry

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The Rise of Japanese Textile Suppliers to the US Automotive Industry

published in Issue 131, September-October 2007  

The supply of textiles to the US automotive industry has changed significantly in recent years with the rise of Japanese textile companies. The most notable success story is Toyota Boshoku?part of the Toyota Group of companies, which also includes Toyota Motor. Others include Japan Vilene, Seiren, Takata, and UGN?a joint venture between Switzerland-based Rieter Automotive Systems and Nihon Tokushu Toryo (Nittoku). Changes in the supply of automotive textiles have also led to shifts in the types of textiles employed in US vehicles. This reflects the fact that the preferences of Japanese and European manufacturers tend to differ from those of US producers.

The success of Japanese automotive textile suppliers reflects dramatic changes in the shape of the US automotive sector itself as the share of US producers has fallen and that of Japanese producers has risen. In general, the dominance of the traditional ?Big Three? automotive manufacturers?namely General Motors (GM), Ford and DaimlerChrysler?has waned while Japanese car producers such as Toyota Motor and others have enjoyed rapid and considerable growth in the US market. Sales in North America by Toyota Motor, for example, grew by 17.5% in its 2006/07 financial year, following similar double-digit increases in 2005/06 and 2004/05.

Looking ahead, the global automotive interiors market is set to reach US$210 bn by 2015, from an estimated US$165 bn in 2005. One major driving force for change in the automotive sector?as in many others?is the growing demand for environmentally-friendly products. Changes in attitudes towards ecological and environmental concerns are reflected in vehicle designs as well as automotive interiors. And Japan is taking a lead in this area. Other future trends include: the substitution of polyurethane foam in upholstery composites by threedimensional polyester nonwovens, multi-knits and spacer fabrics which can be recycled; the increased use of efficient, longer life nonwoven filters to meet requirements for longer maintenance periods; the use of optical fibres in textile linings to illuminate certain parts of the car interior?such as the floor, door handles, and other areas; and the use of conductive textiles for heating and electromagnetic shielding, and for the collection or transmission of signals.

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Six times a year, Textile Outlook International provides up to 200 pages of expert comment and analysis. A subscription provides an overview of the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. It is essential reading for senior executives in the fibre, textile and apparel industries ? and for anyone who is not involved in the industry, but needs to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues.
Reports in Textile Outlook International include:
 country profiles ? providing a comprehensive guide to the textile and clothing industries in a range of countries and regions. The reports include an economic and political profile together with a comprehensive overview of the main issues, plus an outlook for the future.
 company profiles ? giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others. Companies profiled recently include retailers, manufacturers, innovators and sourcing companies involved in textiles and apparel as well as smaller companies which illustrate the opportunities for firms which are interested in selected sourcing locations.
 trends in world textile and apparel trade and production ? taking into account current issues facing the industry ? such as global fibre prices; competition from China and other low cost countries; the elimination of quotas and imposition of selective new ones; relocation of production operations; the impact of economic factors affecting trade; international trade agreements; trade promotion agreements (TPAs); and much more.
 trends in EU and US imports of textiles and clothing ? providing comprehensive statistical data and analysis of the top ten supplying countries to the EU and US markets. These reports are updated each year and contain value and volume data as well as average prices and analyses of trends for up to 15 product categories.
 innovations, technological developments, business development opportunities, individual sector analysis and political implications which affect players in the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. Some of the topics which have been covered in recent reports include: new innovations in the textile and clothing industry, such as environmentally friendly textiles, plant based fibres, and developments in textile colorants; innovations in textile machinery; and overviews of the European swimwear, hosiery and lingerie markets.
So whether you are involved in fibres, textiles or clothing ? in manufacturing, spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, import/export, retailing ? or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance, a subscription to Textile Outlook International will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Textile Outlook International is available on subscription ? either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 6 printed publications a year, containing a total of 30 reports plus editorials written by Robin Anson, our editorial director and in-house industry expert.
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