Panorama – The king of synthetic leather opens in Vietnam
Coronet invests $ 20 million in a new facility. And thus becomes the first world producer.
In 2005 he had sensed that the production of low-cost footwear would marry from Europe to China and for this reason he started with the relocation to Guangdong. In recent days, however, he has just returned from a tour de force in Vietnam where, 100 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, he inaugurated a 15 thousand square meter factory.
Because a decade later Enrico De Marco, the king of leatherette, has no doubts: the production frontier for his Coronet will move more and more from the Land of the Dragon to this emerging nation, which is growing at an annual rate of 7% and is at the center of an important free trade area. “By now in China, manpower is scarce and wages are rising rapidly: for this reason multinationals like Coach and Clarks are moving their investments to Vietnam and we are by their side” confirms De Marco, who has bet 20 million dollars on the Vietnamese project, making Coronet is the world’s leading producer of synthetic leather with 30 million square meters produced.
“2015 will be a good year for us thanks to the strength of the dollar and the renminbi, but also because the crisis is hitting our competitors, especially those who have not diversified abroad”, underlines De Marco, who despite being honorary president is still the engine of change in the company, where he is joined by his son Umberto, president, and by the managing director Jarno Tagliarini, while the key figure in China and now in Vietnam is Paolo Battilana.
But internationalization has not changed Coronet’s Italian matrix. In addition to the research that is always carried out in the Velletri (Rome) plant, 90% of the main semi-finished product of synthetic leather produced in China and Vietnam continues to be made by Coronet Italia, a way to keep the quality of the finished product constant and unchanged the appeal of made in Italy but with more contained costs.
© Mikol Belluzzi