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18th of November 2018

Automotive



Interiors supplier has new ideas

Patrick Koller, CEO of the French interiors supplier Faurecia, is optimistic about sales because of the company's strong China business and because it is benefiting from the rapid rise of crossover and SUV sales around the world. But Koller, 59, also told Automotive News Europe Correspondent Peter Sigal that new customers are offering opportunities for new cockpits.

Q: What role do new brands play in the interiors sector?

A:The arrival of new automakers, both in China and in Silicon Valley, is accelerating change, as they are approaching the design of their vehicles differently. For example, we now have two orders for complete cockpits, which has never happened before. Our Cockpit of the Future systems represent a triple win: for the consumer by offering new experiences, for the automaker by replacing existing and often expensive products with a cheaper complete system and for Faurecia through profitable growth opportunities.

What are some examples?

One example is immersive sound. We are replacing the loudspeakers with surface actuators. We make the surfaces vibrate, and we generate high-quality sound with algorithms. This means you have no packaging issues anymore because the actuators are very small.

What else?

Another example is that digital displays are significantly cheaper than the instrument clusters we had before. It's the same with thermal comfort. We are looking at more efficient energy dispersion. Today you have to heat up or cool the whole cabin. But if you heat up or cool just the seat, you consume less energy.

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