Case Studies

Fast and consistent: INSPIRE™ for Passat interior pillar trim

VW Passat INSPIRE pillar trims detail view

Top performance despite a cold start

The interior A- and B-pillar covers for the current VW Passat had been produced using a polypropylene resin from a Trinseo competitor. This supplier then announced it would be discontinuing the PP resin used, and the producer of the application was forced to immediately search for an alternative. While they needed a substitute material as soon as possible, it also had to meet with current VW quality standards and be able to handle a volume of 200,000 vehicles per year up to the EOP scheduled for 2020.

The tier 1 had good experiences with Trinseo materials in the past, and we are key partner for MAGNUM™ ABS Automotive Resins and PULSE™ PC/ABS Resins. Trinseo materials are also well known within the VW organization, therefore we offered our talc-filled INSPIRE™ PP solution as a replacement for the previous pillar trim material.

VW Passat INSPIRE pillar trims

We were happy to help our customer with colored INSPIRE™ TF1305 ESU. Even if we were faced with a highly challenging time frame our team handled the required color-matching process, and we ran two extensive industrial sampling cycles. Our account managers and the TS&D experts collaborated very well with the tier 1 team and we were able to commercialize the material within the tight deadline. INSPIRE™ TF1305 ESU is approved against OEM specification TL 52388 C,D,E,F. 

VW Passat INSPIRE pillar trims detail

Proofed material benefits and fast masterbatch commercialization

In this case, the color Volkswagen required, St. Tropez (KU1NX), was new to us. "We developed a recipe matching the provided VW standard using our most effective technology for polypropylene resins. Tested on parts by VW, our material was successful and met all the applicable VW norms for the specific pillar trim applications, including the color requirements, the UV resistance, and the scratch and mar resistance." Color Development Expert Eric Goethals explains. "Based on the material for these first trials, and after further fine-tuning, it was scaled up to full production."

VW Passat INSPIRE seat belt slider

In addition to a high-class aesthetic appearance, interior pillar covers must provide high impact protection and must often support safety-belt or airbag deployment functionalities. INSPIRE™ TF1305 ESU meets these requirements with high impact resistance even at low temperatures. It offers superior scratch resistance and very good UV-light stabilization. Its very low emissions (VOC) and odor results in increased comfort for passengers.

VW Passat INSPIRE seat belt slider detail

Trinseo Senior Account Manager Ronald van Slegtenhorst summarizes the success as follows: "Aside from just a cost-efficient solution and a consistent supply, we were also able to provide our services immediately, including developing and successfully commercializing of the new color masterbatch in a very tight time frame. This strengthens our strong working relationship with both the tier 1 as well as with Volkswagen."

Contact the project team and learn more about the details:

Derk Fleischmann, Application Development Engineer VW at
Eric Goethals, Color Development Expert at
Ronald van Slegtenhorst, Senior Account Manager at