General-Tower Ltd have plans to introduce a new polymer blend as a leather replacement or supplement in mid- and high-priced autos.

General-Tower supply automotive interior covers and have an exclusive licence to market and manufacture the material, created by Idemitzu Technofine Co Ltd of Tokyo and already in production in Asia.

The proprietary blend uses an organic material that can be used with PVC, thermoplastic olefin or thermoplastic polyurethane to create a leather-like cover skin, said Richard Chaplin, vice president of corporate affairs at General-Tower.

Production of the PVC version should begin this summer, while TPO production is set to begin by the end of the year. The company has not yet chosen a name, although the product is sold under the name Protein Leather in Asia, Chaplin added.