Kolon has developed a new airbag that will be used in vehicles of global automaker Ford. After the settlement with DuPont surrounding Aramid fibers, which have been in litigation for the past six years, the company seems to open the way to re-enter the North American market.
Kolon Industries announced on June 10 that it signed a contract worth a total of US$38 million (42.3 billion won) for three years with Autoliv, the world's largest supplier of automotive airbags headquartered in the U.S., to supply airbag cushions. Under the agreement, Kolon Industries will supply one-piece woven (OPW) fabric side curtain airbag cushions to Autoliv. Autoliv will produce modules using Kolon’s airbag cushions and supply them to Ford for its popular models, such as the Mondeo, Lincoln, Fusion, and Edge. The company has a 35 percent market share in the global airbag module market.
An official from Kolon said, “The contract can be considered a signal to re-enter the North American market, in which the company had been restricted to exports, after the settlement with DuPont surrounding Aramid fibers early last month. Also, it is meaningful to advance the market with its self-developed polyester airbag cushion.” Kolon Industries focused on product development using polyester instead of the existing airbag cushion material nylon, and succeeded in mass production in 2013.
The company’s polyester airbag fabric is similar to nylon in terms of strength and durability, but its production cost is lower. Previously, Kolon had supplied its polyester airbag cushions to Chrysler Dodge in 2013.