Santa’s Present to Himself: A New Sleigh Powered by BASF

In order to deliver presents to children all around the world in one night, Santa needs more than just a sleigh and team of reindeer. The mobility evolution has reached the North Pole, impacting even how Santa travels from point A to point B. Knowing that BASF is the world’s leading automotive supplier in the chemical industry, Santa decided to leverage our full portfolio to upgrade his sleigh.

From plastics and fuel additives to battery materials and coatings, BASF offers the products, technical expertise and integrated support to take on mobility challenges, even those that come with a flying sleigh. Working closely with Santa, BASF delivered efficiencies and top-tier service to guarantee his sleigh is up for the challenge on Christmas Eve – earning a spot on the “nice list” as a result.

Here are several ways BASF automotive solutions enhance Santa’s sleigh on his busiest night of the year.

Enhanced in-flight experience

It’s a long and hectic night for Santa, and his sleigh should provide a smooth, quiet and comfortable ride. Reducing the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) of the sleigh enhances the in-flight experience and keeps Santa’s spirits bright.

BASF’s Basotect® is the ideal noise insulation solution for sound-proofing. This low weight foam absorbs medium and high-frequency sound waves, reducing noise levels and increasing interior sound quality. Now Santa is able to listen to all the songs on his Christmas playlist without interruption from wind or engine noises.

Cellasto® also is used to create a variety of polyurethane components to help minimize bumps and ensure a smooth ride. Robust and durable, Cellasto® isolates vibrations from the chassis, shock absorbers and struts especially during those hard landings on rooftops.

Weight saving sleigh solutions

A sleigh packed with presents is quite heavy for the reindeer to pull. BASF’s lightweighting solutions help offset the added weight of the sleigh without sacrificing performance. Replacing metal sleigh parts with composite plastic or natural fiber components help achieve an overall weight reduction.

BASF uses Spray Transfer Molding to manufacture lightweight composite materials. Sheets of corrugated paper resembling a honeycomb are sandwiched between mats of reinforced fibers, sprayed with BASF’s polyurethane and molded into shape. To help reduce weight, the load floor of Santa’s sleigh incorporates this polyurethane honeycomb structure.

Resin-reinforced natural fibers like BASF’s Acrodur and CONTOURA are also used on interior parts of the sleigh, providing weight saving and sustainable advantages.

Electric sleigh battery technology

Like nearly every automaker, Santa is embracing electrification and thinking about battery power for his sleigh. When the reindeer need a break, he relies on BASF’s advanced battery technology to keep the sleigh up in the air – a true “hybrid” approach.

BASF is the leading cathode active materials (CAM) supplier for lithium-ion batteries, which determine the efficiency, reliability, cost, durability and size of a battery. Cathode active materials provide a high energy density and enable a longer range with quick charge capabilities. With one of the broadest CAM portfolios, BASF supports e-mobility applications such as electric cars, plug-in hybrids and even flying sleighs.

A green and clean fleet

Rumor has it that not even Santa is exempt from meeting fleet emissions targets by 2025. Fortunately, he uses BASF’s PremAir® technology, a catalyst coating that is applied to the sleigh’s radiator and converts up to 90 percent of harmful ground level ozone into clean oxygen as air flows over.

With PremAir®, Santa contributes to improved air quality as the sleigh takes off and lands from house to house. PremAir® is also approved as a Direct Ozone Reduction technology, generating exhaust emission credits that Santa can apply to lower his elves’ fleet emission averages.

One-of-a-kind red

To keep his sleigh looking brand new, Santa ensures it receives a fresh coat of BASF primer, paint and clearcoat each year.

The color is, of course, red. But not just any red. After consulting BASF’s 2019 Color Trends report, Santa selected Red Momentum, a brilliantly saturated red made from a unique combination of pigments, complex layering and innovative dispersion that outshines even Rudolph’s nose.

In addition, clearcoat helps the sleigh maintain a glossy appearance and offers superior scratch resistance to shield from environmental influences like snow or road salt. No matter how many air miles Santa logs, his sleigh keeps its fresh look longer.

Sleigh-friendly additives

Just like with any other vehicle, the brake system is an important safety feature on Santa’s sleigh. The brakes must be responsive in case the sleigh hits an icy patch or Dasher and Dancer need help slowing down as they reach the next rooftop.

To help keep the brake system responsive and operating smoothly, Santa uses BASF’s HYDRAULAN® brake fluids. HYDRAULAN® has a low viscosity, high thermal stability and excellent corrosion protection to ensure optimum performance and extend the reliability of any brakes.

On the night before Christmas, Santa’s sleigh travels all across the world and through different climates. With GLYSANTIN® engine coolant, the sleigh’s cooling system is protected against frost and overheating whether Santa is delivering presents in the Arctic tundra or Death Valley. GLYSANTIN® also builds a protective layer to prevent corrosion in all the components in the cooling system.

3D printing parts on the fly

What happens when sleigh parts need to be replaced? It can be difficult to quickly retrieve replacement components when Santa is so far away in the North Pole. Luckily, we know that Santa’s workshop has a 3D printer and the mechanic elves can print spare parts.

Ultrafuse® 316L is BASF’s innovative filament for printing stainless-steel applications. This filament is cost-effective, easy to handle and enables greater freedom of design. With Ultrafuse® 316L, the elves can 3D print metal parts and prototypes whenever needed.

Happy Holidays from BASF! To learn more about our complete automotive portfolio, contact