Leather firm expands from luxury cars

 - September 20, 2007, 11:31 AM

Zenda Leather (Booth No. 8923) may be a new name in the aviation industry, but the company’s assorted line of leather upholstery is well known to automobile and furniture manufacturers.

The Montevideo, Uruguay-based company has been in business since 1890, under the former name Branáa Tannery, and is now the largest worldwide supplier of leather to Audi and the second largest worldwide supplier to BMW, according to Juan Diego Casaretto, president of Zenda’s North American market. Although the company is family-owned, it has 11 locations worldwide, including plants in Germany, Mexico and Argentina, and a distribution center in Hickory, N.C. The plants cut millions of pieces of leather each week for automobile and furniture manufacturers, Casaretto said.

“Though we are fairly new in aviation, we have been in business a long, long time,” he said. “That’s a key advantage for us.” He added the company is looking forward to combining the tough requirements of the automotive industry with the creativity and luxury of the furniture market in its aviation products. Zenda is displaying 10 different product lines for aviation here in Atlanta. “For us, it’s a really interesting challenge,” said Casaretto, “but we are happy. It’s a beautiful market.”