60 year History of PIRELLI WEBBING at Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, U.K.
The Kongsberg Automotive Ltd. Burton manufacturing plant has been on Callister Way since 2003, though its origins date back to 1953 when the company was part of Pirelli Tyres Ltd and first manufactured rubber upholstery webbing and other rubber products for the furniture industry. The company was known as Pirelli GRG Division (General Rubber Goods) and was created in order to find a commercial outlet for the high quantities of surplus rubber produced in the Pirelli Tyre Division.
At this time the company was part of a very large Pirelli Tyres site on Beech Lane, Burton, which employed over 2000 people.
In 1974 the company developed a new product called Sisiara, which is a wired rubber and fabric suspension mat used as the seat spring, offering a lightweight, flexible alternative to metal springs. To date over 60 million Sisiara mats have been sold to the Furniture and Automotive markets.
In 1978 the company diversified into the Automotive sector when it was recognised that the Sisiara mats and rubber inflatable lumbar supports sold to the Furniture sector could be used in Automotive seating. Automotive Sisiara mats still being sold today are used in seats for Opel, VW, Landrover and Ferrari.
In 1984 the company developed it’s first pneumatic lumbar support system for automotive seating and in 1995 developed it’s first active lumbar support system (providing massage and adaptive to the occupant).
In 1997 Textron Automotive acquired Pirelli GRG Division. By this time the business had developed into 85% Automotive and 15% Furniture sales.
In 2000 Textron Automotive agreed to a Management Buy Out and the company became Ctex Seat Comfort Ltd. In 2003 Ctex moved to a new purpose build factory on Callister Way, Burton, where it still resides today.
In 2003 Kongsberg Automotive acquired Ctex Seat Comfort Ltd and it became part of Kongsberg Automotive Interior Systems (IS). By this time the business was supplying advanced lumbar systems to BMW, Ford, GM, Jaguar, Landrover, Bentley, Maserati, Porsche and Fiat, as well as continuing with the traditional furniture webbing and other furniture products in the domestic and export market.
In 2011 all business except the original Pirelli GRG Division product range was transferred to Kongsberg Pruszkow, leaving just one production line in Burton, which still supplies rubber seating products to the Automotive and Furniture markets.
This year PIRELLI WEBBING celebrates it’s 60th birthday!
We have been informed that from August 2014 the webbing will be produced by Dellner Woodville Ltd in new facilities at Swadlincote some 5 miles from Burton.
Dellner Woodville have bought the rubber product part of Kongsberg. The staff who make the webbing will transfer to the new company so hopefully we will see no change in the product