Ostrich processors Klein Karoo Co-operative have confirmed the development of automotive leathers which comply with the standards and specifications of the automotive industry. According to automotive project manager Grewar Ferreira, they are also developing alternative tanning processes for the automotive sectors.

After nearly four years of research, KKC are scheduled to have created a substantial and ongoing automotive leather business by the end of 2003. KKC are ISO 9001 2000 certified and their laboratory is set up to handle all appropriate automotive leather tests.

African Hide Trading’s Exotan division are another South African ostrich tannery seeking a foothold in the automotive industry. According to sales director Jerome Ingenhoes, the major challenge has been to develop a leather which has all the qualities of bovine automotive leather in terms of softness and colour and light fastness.