Continental launches Benova Eco Protect: a milestone on the road to sustainable automotive interiors

Latest: Continental has developed a new premium surface material: Benova Eco
Protect. Its product advantages are obvious: it can make car interiors more sustainable, more durable and more comfortable. The surface material is currently manufactured in Germany and will soon be produced at the Winchester, Virginia plant in the United States.


Sustainable, durable and comfortable: Benova Eco Protect material trims the driver and passenger seats, dashboard, door panels, side or center console and headrests. (Photo credit: Continental)

“Benova Eco
Protect combines the ultimate soft feel, outstanding value appeal with outstanding aging and light resistance, and can be used in a wide range of instrument panels, door panels, side or center consoles, seat covers or headrests. The quality is amazing,” says Christian, Global Head of the Automotive Business Unit Surface Solutions at Continental
“The material also has excellent heat and UV resistance, making it truly durable despite the special environmental influences in the cabin,” Noell said. Benova Eco
Protect is manufactured from a suitable substrate and the entire structure interacts optimally without damage even after prolonged exposure to high temperatures of 120°C. In addition, the use of bright colours on demanding surfaces has further led to new trends in interior design.

Good ecological balance


This new surface material is also used in the work seat of the Ambienc3 concept car for a perfect upgrade. (Photo credit: Continental)

“Benova Eco Protect is an important milestone in product development on the way to sustainable automotive interiors,” said Gabriele, Global Head of Research and Development at Continental AG
Wittmann emphasizes, “We always eliminate the use of any harmful ingredients, plasticizers and solvents, ensuring that the material’s emissions, odor and ‘product carbon footprint’ are kept extremely low.” The material developed by Continental complies with all OEMs Specific Substances Prohibited and Declared List, GADSL (Global Automotive Declarable Substances List) and EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) requirements.

Benova Eco
Another big advantage of Protect is that it is about 20% lighter and contains no material of animal origin. In addition, it focuses on saving resources and improving energy efficiency in its production process, making a positive contribution to the ecological balance of the vehicle. For example, no solvent is evaporated during the drying process, so no off-gas post-treatment is required. Benova
Eco Protect is available in thicknesses ranging from 0.9mm to 4.3mm and its material backing consists of fabric, polyurethane foam, sandwich foam or spacer fabric.

Won the German Innovation Award

Continental’s Benova Eco Protect lives up to its expectations: The German Design Council selected the material from 640 entries in the Materials and Surfaces category and awarded it in the category “Business to Business”.
(B2B)” award for high innovation. The German Innovation Award for solutions that contribute to a better life and a better future. In this competition, the Benova Eco
The Protect impressed the jury with its innovative performance.

The German Innovation Award has been awarded since 1953 by the German Design Council, the world’s leading competence center for communication and knowledge transfer in the fields of design, branding and innovation. The award recognizes high value-added innovations from all walks of life, centered on user experience.


Benova Eco Protect won the German Innovation Award at the end of May. (Photo credit: Continental)

Continental develops innovative technologies and services to provide sustainable connected mobility and transportation solutions for people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company Continental AG provides safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machinery, traffic and transport. In 2021, Continental’s sales were 33.8 billion euros. At present, the group has about 190,000 employees worldwide, covering 58 countries and regions. Continental will celebrate its 150th anniversary on October 8, 2021.