Paradoxically, while some luxury car’s drivers are ready to give up on genuine leather for their car interior, others go on a splurge and equip their car with the most expensive, exotic skins. According to Tokyo based company Seijo’s Managing Director, Sai Mei Xu, special orders from drivers of Rolls Royce and Ferraris in Japan and in China keep growing. Since 2014, the company fits between 30 to 40 cars a year with luxurious leather. All the skins are tanned in Japan where the company employs about 100 people.
Trading in these skins requires a special permit issued by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), an international agreement between governments whose aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Recently, Seijo expanded its range of exotic skins, which according to Xu, the new skins are particularly suitable for small accessories, car and sports equipment. “We are constantly looking for new kinds of skin to offer our customers,” says Xu.
Exotic leathers are also in high demand for furniture and interior decoration, especially from rich property owners in China.
According to the latest Hurun Report, China now has the largest population of billionaires in the world and growing, which bears well for Seijo’s future.
An ACLE exhibitor since 1999, the company uses the exhibition to find customers and to introduce new products. “Judging from our results it seems the industry is recovering,” observes Xu.