The most advanced models from major global auto companies attracted the attention of visitors at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, but in the background, a Chinese manufacturing powerhouse performed an important, albeit subtle, role. In recent years, the continuous transformation and upgrading of Shanghai Textile have resulted in an “indissoluble bond” with the automobile industry; now nearly half of the textile materials used in domestic automobiles come from Shanghai Textile.
According to reports, during the 11th Five Year Plan period among 40% of the 10,000,000s of passenger cars and commercial vehicles put onto the road in China, 40% of car carpets, 40% of seatbelts, and 30% of car roof fabrics were produced by Shanghai Textile. Among these vehicles were notable German, American, and Japanese high-end automobile brands.
We learned from the investigation of the “CPPCC Shanghai Committee on improving the level of traditional industries and promoting the optimization of Shanghai’s industrial structure” that during the 11th Five Year Plan period, Shanghai successfully implemented its high-end and diversified textile decoration products strategy. Through investment, equity participation, and joint ventures with famous international automobile manufacturers, eleven “automobile interior textile production enterprises” were formed and successfully integrated into the automobile industry manufacturing chain.
In addition to the automotive sector, functional textiles developed with sophisticated technology have also made improvements in the fields of aerospace, and disaster prevention and rescue possible. Shanghai Textile now provides a large number of key varieties of industrial textiles.
In the field of architecture, new membrane structural materials play a role in a new round of urban construction. One-third of the membrane structural materials for the Beijing Olympic venues are made from Shanghai Textile materials. There is also a large number of Shanghai textile products involved in the construction of expo venues. In addition, Shanghai Textile also provided more than 200 square meters of oil fences for accident rescue in the Gulf of Mexico.
Moreover, Shanghai Textile has always been based on developing high-end industrial textiles with substantial market prospects. In 2006, it invested 129 million yuan in building the world’s first professional production line of polysulfonamide fiber, which filled in the gap of high-temperature resistant materials in China. The development of protective fabrics and filter fabrics based on polysulfonamide fiber, including flame-retardant and anti-static fabrics, resulted in the entry of Shanghai Textile to the European professional tooling market.