Acella®: A Classic That Keeps Reinventing Itself

The Success Story of Our Brand Began 125 Years Ago

The Continental technology company looks back on a long tradition and, at the same time, opens up new opportunities for automotive interiors of the future: The success story of Acella®, the company’s most famous surface brand, began as far back as 125 years ago. Today, the material is a prime example of innovative and long-lasting surface solutions for vehicle interiors.

Acella® is one of our most important brands and the large and continuously growing product family is part of our core business. Our innovations in mobility concepts of the future are evidence of this.
Acella trademark and logo in 1895

How It All Began

On May 30, 1895, the company later known as Benecke-Kaliko AG, now part of Continental, registered its newly developed Nitro artificial leather brand Acella® as a trademark at the Imperial Patent Office.

On September 30, 1895, it was entered in the register of trademarks. With higher resistance to low temperatures and to aging – properties that still make Acella® outstanding – it distinguished itself from the previously successful oilcloth and leather cloth with linseed oil varnish.
Production of Acella at the end of the 19th century

1895 to 1920

The “Leather Cloth” Becomes a Top Seller

Carriages and carts dominated the streets of the cities. In Hanover, the electrification of streetcars had begun, but in the city center the carriages were still pulled by horses.

The “leather cloth” was the top seller in the early 1920s. It was used almost universally, but above all as furniture upholstery and for accessories in road vehicles and railway cars.
Car seats made of Acella imitation leather and matching advertising brochure

1920 to 1950

Constantly Developed

In the mid-1920s, the path from the oilcloth factory to the modern synthetics processing plant was led by a growing demand for artificial leather from the thriving automotive industry. In the following years, new products were constantly being developed and other uses were found, mainly in the vehicle sector.

1950 to 1960

Arrived in Everyday Life

After WWII, the development and marketing of new PVC-based products under the well-known Acella® brand resulted in it growing into the largest synthetics processing company in Europe.

Under the brand name Acella®, the company also marketed numerous products for domestic use: sun, privacy and weather protection, seating and upholstered furniture as well as TV and hi-fi housings. Acella® had finally arrived in people's everyday lives.
Almost universally applicable: hardly any cinema in the post-war period managed without Acella wall coverings

1960 to 1970

From the Vehicle Sector to the Cinema Auditorium

In the mid-1960s, the product range was expanded to include floor coverings for vehicles.

Continuous product development based on PVC plastic for new applications has resulted in the rise to become the largest synthetics processing company in Europe. Thus Acella® was also successful in other areas, hardly any cinema could do without Acella® wall covering.
Acella surface material with realistic leather grain

1970 to 1990

Surface With Realistic Leather Grain

The 1970s saw an abrupt increase in demand for Acella® for vehicle interiors. At that time, in Hanover, experts in surfacing developed a technology that made it possible to give the synthetic material a realistic leather grain.

With that, Acella® finally became a fixed feature on the market, which today is hard to imagine without.
  • Application of Acella in the vehicle interior
  • Acella Eco as seat cover

Today: Environmentally Friendly and Trendsetting

Today, Acella® continues to be the material of choice for car interior trims.  Its durability, monetary value and numerous design possibilities are some of its most important product advantages.
Vehicle interior with Acella Hylite Concept

Allrounder with Future Potential

The latest development, the translucent Acella® Hylite Concept, points the way to the future of the car: It enables special lighting effects through backlighting of the surfaces, which are particularly in demand in electric vehicles and in ideas related to autonomous driving.

Acella® Product Variety

Offers the Right Solution for Every Use

Over the years, Acella® has always remained young and we have succeeded in adapting the material to new conditions and market requirements over and over again. In the meantime, Acella® stands for our largest product family and offers the right solution for every use.

Acella® can be customized with the appropriate features for its respective uses and is produced in high quality on a global scale. Drivers and passengers benefit from the high level of comfort, high-quality designs and the durability of the material. The especially kink- and temperature-resistant Acella® Protect is the most resistant material of the brand to date. It is used primarily in high-stress areas, for example in commercial vehicles and in agricultural and construction machinery. Acella® Light is used in modern lightweight design concepts, helping to reduce fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions.  

Products Advantages of Acella®



Wide range of design options






Abrasion resistant


Easy to clean


Resistant to disinfectants