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2012-09-05

Interview with Board Member Werner Breuers about "Green Mobility" and "Mobility Days"

This year „Green Mobility” is the center of attention at LANXESS. After many successful events and projects in the first half of the year, September and October hold some further highlights in store: the Mobility Days in China and the USA and Rubber Day in Brazil. We talked to Board Member Werner Breuers.

LANXESS: LANXESS dedicated 2012 to “Green Mobility”. What are the most exciting things happening?

Werner Breuers:
In addition to the fact that many of our business units are working with our customers to develop specific products and technologies to achieve “Green Mobility” this is the first time we are directly reaching out to the end-consumer. Mobility plays an important role in the everyday life of every person – it is a megatrend.

Now we are actively communicating to the public that chemistry plays a key role in enabling mobility and especially “Green Mobility” for a sustainable future. Of course that also has an impact on innovation and new products and applications. Particularly for a technology-driven company like LANXESS, the topic of research and development also plays an important role. In view of this we again raised our spending in this area in 2011 – by 24 percent to EUR 144 million.

This means that we have increased our investment in research and development every year so far. And 2012 will be no exception in this respect: our R&D budget is nearly 40 percent above last year.

The number of people working in the area of research and development rose at a similar rate, by over 200 to more than 730 employees. And this year as well, we plan to hire more scientists and engineers, mainly in Germany. Among the main focuses of their work will be the topic of “green mobility.”

LANXESS: Will “Green Mobility” stay on the agenda?

Breuers: The megatrend of mobility – which “Green Mobility” is a part of - is not just an important future task concerning the protection of the environment and climate – it also offers enormous opportunities for industry and economy. Environmental concerns, government regulations, the cost of fuel and consumer preferences are forcing radical changes on the way tires and cars are made. Needless to say that the paradigm shift towards more sustainable forms of mobility offers many opportunities for innovations, for exciting products and new technologies: for automobile companies, for suppliers and many other sectors that work closely with the automotive industry. And this also applies for the chemicals industry.

At LANXESS we focused our attention on mobility at an early stage. Even today, for example, we are making vehicles lighter, safer and more comfortable with our high-tech plastics. As a result, fuel is being saved. Take the example of Durethan from LANXESS. It is used as a composite material with steel or aluminum. This produces body parts that are extremely stable – but at the same time up to 40 percent lighter and less expensive than traditional parts. Even today the proportion of plastic hidden in every car can amount to twenty percent – and this trend will only increase.

LANXESS: LANXESS Rubber Days have been staged before…for example in Germany and China. The concept of “Mobility Days” is new. How does that connect?

Breuers: We first launched LANXESS Rubber Day in 2009 and created a high-level forum that has risen to a place of prominence in the tire industry’s annual calendar of events. Rubber Day and the additional events we have since developed – Automotive Day and Mobility Day – now serve as vital gatherings at which leading experts from the rubber, tire and automotive industries join with customers, policymakers and top academics to discuss the latest developments and exchange views.

Held for the first time in 2012, LANXESS Mobility Day takes a look at the big picture in transportation, investigating developments and trends in mobility on a global scale. The event brings together representatives from a wide range of sectors to discuss new research and concrete solutions.

LANXESS: Who is invited to those events?

Breuers: Of course the main group of guests are customers and experts from the industries we do business with. As one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies, LANXESS is uniquely positioned to sponsor this series of events that have become a permanent, internationally recognized networking platform for the business sectors we serve. The rapid expansion of personal mobility and vehicle ownership repre¬sents a global megatrend that presents an array of significant challenges and opportunities.

Also, our forums attract prominent guest speakers and panelists and are structured to take a timely look at new developments of interest. This approach has generated rising awareness among industry leaders, politicians, officials and the specialized press.

Contact

Terri Fitzpatrick

Terri Fitzpatrick
Vice President Market Communications

Phone: +49 221 8885 3393

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