Eagle Ottawa Outfits New Volkswagen Passat With Environmentally Friendly Leather Upholstery

5 January 1998

Eagle Ottawa Outfits New Volkswagen Passat With Environmentally Friendly Leather Upholstery

    GRAND HAVEN, Mich., Jan. 5 -- The critically acclaimed 1998
Volkswagen Passat has become the launch vehicle for a new, all-natural
automotive upholstery that is recyclable and chrome-free.
    The award-winning Phoenix leather was developed by the Eagle Ottawa
Leather Company, the world's largest supplier of automotive leather.  Besides
being completely recyclable, and biodegradable, Phoenix leather is a first-of-
its-kind leather created completely with natural extracts, as opposed to
chrome or other metals.
    Phoenix leather also features improved grain retention, low fog
characteristics, reduced shrinkage levels and a soft, glove-leather feel.  Its
natural finishes also makes Phoenix more climate responsive -- cooler in the
summer -- warmer in the winter.
    The new, completely redesigned Passat marks the first vehicle to brandish
Phoenix leather; a testament to Volkswagen's ingenuity and environmental
awareness.
    "We feel honored to be involved in the Passat vehicle program," said
Anders Segerdahl, president of the Eagle Ottawa Leather Company.  "Our Phoenix
leather addresses the world's future environmental needs, today.  This product
illustrates our commitment to innovation and meeting the needs of world-class
customers like Volkswagen."
    Phoenix leather is manufactured and distributed at Eagle Ottawa's new
finishing and cutting plant in Ekandustria, South Africa.  Boasting the latest
in manufacturing technology, the South African operation provides automotive
leather to numerous automotive manufacturers in Europe and the Pacific Rim.
    Eagle Ottawa currently supports more than one-third of the global market.
Presently, approximately 80 vehicle models feature Eagle Ottawa Leather
worldwide -- representing virtually every major automobile manufacturer in the
U.S., Europe and Japan.
    Privately held Eagle Ottawa operates tanneries at its headquarters in
Grand Haven, MI, as well as Milwaukee, WI; Waterloo, IA; and Acton, Ontario,
Canada.  It also operates finishing and cutting facilities in Rochester Hills
and Clinton Township, MI, and Juarez, Mexico.
    Eagle Ottawa Leather, Ltd., operates a tannery in Warrington, England, and
a finishing and seat covering facility in Coventry, England.  Founded in 1865,
Eagle Ottawa currently employs more than 3,000 people internationally.

SOURCE  Eagle Ottawa Leather, Ltd.

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