Group Antolin said it had improved its financial position with new COVID-19 financial support loans from Spain, France and the United Kingdom.

It had opened an innovation centre in China and all plants were operating while complying with virus prevention protocol.

“Revenue in July has performed positively,” the interior technology specialist added in a statement.

The new R&D centre in China includes an electronics laboratory to provide better customer service.

“[The group] has demonstrated that it has a sound, resilient and flexible business that is capable of withstanding the greatest crisis ever experienced by the automotive industry. Over the past few months, the company’s priority has been to protect the health of all its employees and ensure business continuity and liquidity, despite the severe market disruption,” the supplier said in a statement.

The COVID-19 crisis triggered a historic 65% collapse in global vehicle production in April, when the pandemic led to the closure of virtually every car manufacturing plant in the world. Global vehicle production fell by 33% in the first half of the year. Consequently, Grupo Antolin’s sales between January and June were EUR1,553m, compared to EUR2,678m a year ago.

The fall in sales and the limited time to adapt the cost structure caused the gross operating profit (EBITDA) to plunge to EUR52m in the first half of the year, compared to EUR226m in 2019.

“Currently, all plants are operational and revenue in July has performed positively. Analysts forecast a progressive market recovery if the evolution of the pandemic so allows. However, they estimate that we will not return to 2019 production figures until 2022 or 2023,” Grupo Antolin said.

“[We have] a sound financial position from which to deal with new market disruptions, with a liquidity of EUR452m between cash and undrawn loans, as of 1 September. The company has improved its liquidity after receiving loans within the framework of the COVID-19 financial support plans implemented by the governments: EUR51m in Spain and France, and GBP20m in the United Kingdom.”

China R&D

The new innovation centre in Shanghai will allow the supplier better and more quickly adapt to needs and requirements of customers in China, especially in projects “focused on the new electric mobility”.

The centre houses the new Antolin headquarters in China, bringing together all corporate departments plus engineering and technology development. It has an electronics laboratory and a showroom where products are demonstrated both physically and using virtual reality. Around 100 people work there.

“We continue to launch new projects and initiatives – the best example being the new innovation centre – as part of the transformation we started some time ago, with the aim of strengthening our position as a global supplier of technological solutions for the interior. We continue working to add more value to our products by integrating electronics, lighting solutions, decorative elements and the new technology that cars of the future will incorporate”, said chairman Ernesto Antolin.