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A map of the nonwovens industry.

A Map Of The Nonwovens Industry

Deciding to include the top European and Japanese nonwovens producers in our annual feature on The Top Companies in the Nonwovens Industry was really no decision at all.

Almost every issue of Nonwovens Industry includes some reference to the industry's internationalization and globalization, two multisyllabic words that basically mean nonwovens are sold everywhere in the world and any producer wishing to compete has to be prepared to sell everywhere in the world. It turns out that, indeed, all of the big guys profiled and ranked in this special issue have made international marketing the cornerstone of growth plans into the 1990's.

So it was only natural that the decision be made to include the European and Japanese producers in this award-winning feature. It simply is impossible to get a handle on the nature of the nonwovens industry without including profiles of giants such as Freudenberg and Hoechst in West Germany along with their American subsidiary companies. The vitality of the worldwide business is seen as much in Corovin in Europe and Asahi in Japan as it is in DuPont and Veratec in the U.S. As many new products were certainly introduced by Lantor and Kuraray in the past year as by Reemay and Chicopee.

We went into the European market a bit apprehensive about the reception such a revealing project would receive in the tradition-bound market on the continent. What we came out with was a pleasant surprise on the openness of European companies regarding sales figures, marketing plans and expansion blueprints. The Europeans were forthright and more than willing to talk about themselves and their industry; their acceptance was the key to the success of this ambitious project.

In the Far East, we chose to concentrate on the six leading Japanese producers of nonwoven roll goods and converted products. Far East correspondent Kin Ohmura has provided a revealing look at the production capacities and expansion plans in a market where much of the innovation in nonwovens is taking place.

As for the U.S. companies, we once again met personally with everyone but typically closed-mouth Kimberly-Clark in compiling the information contained in this issue. In a number of cases we had to track down the U.S. executives either overseas or at airports on their way from one meeting to another; nonetheless, all of the comments in these profiles are first hand information from individual interviews.

The Top Companies In The Nonwovens Industry feature takes on a whole new face this year with the inclusion of not only the top 12 U.S. producers, but of the top 12 European companies, the top six Japanese suppliers and five Up-And-Comers as well. By their sheer size and strength, the 35 companies profiled in this issue determine the direction of the worldwide nonwovens industry.

Pick and choose the companies you wish to know more about--or read the whole thing. Whichever route you choose, the story of the nonwovens industry for the past 12 months and for the next year is mapped out in this issue.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Rodman Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:internationalization and globalization of the nonwoven fabrics industry
Author:Jacobsen, Michael A.
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Article Type:editorial
Date:Sep 1, 1989
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