Automotive components supplier Grupo Antolin has received a €100m loan from the European Union to enable it to fund an extensive programme to develop innovative car interior solutions.
This cash injection, provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU’s long-term lending institution, will support fresh investments and the creation of skilled jobs at the Spanish multinational’s innovation centres in France, Germany and Spain.
Burgos, Spain-based Grupo Antolin’s European RDI strategy from this year to 2020, due to cost almost €220m, “aims to lead the transformation that the sector is currently undergoing with connected, self-driving and electric cars”, together with the ‘Industry 4.0’ technology trend.
A formal agreement to provide the EU finance was signed by the group’s chairman Ernesto Antolin and EIB vice-president Emma Navarro in Madrid in July.
Grupo Antolin currently employs a total of 1,000 skilled engineers across Europe with 350 of them working in Spain, it noted.
The group’s investment projects are related to natural materials research - it is already developing sustainable surfaces such as cork or wood - future mobility via new vehicle interior concepts and designs, advanced manufacturing and the integration of electronic and lighting functions in auto components, it revealed.
“As people will be spending a lot of time in the car of the future, its interior will include new functionalities and solutions,” predicted Ernesto Antolin.
“Grupo Antolin endeavours to be the key partner of vehicle manufacturers in developing the interiors of their future cars. The key to this is innovation, something that we will continue to strengthen with EIB support,” he stressed.
Today, Grupo Antolin operates 125 plants and ‘Just-in-Time’ centres worldwide and has 22 technical-commercial centres. With a group workforce of 28,000, the family-run company recorded annual turnover worth more than €5 billion last year.