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The Car as a Living Space: Home-like Seating

September 17, 2015, 10:00 UTC+3
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FRANKFURT, Germany, September 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/. IAA 2015: Johnson Controls presents solutions to the individualization megatrend 

Cross reference: Picture is available at AP Images ( and

In addition to spending time at home or in the office, more and more of our time is being spent in the car, drawing a greater focus to interior and seat design. As customization options continue to grow, the desire of many new car buyers for design alternatives is becoming increasingly important. As the global leader in automotive seating, Johnson Controls is reaffirming its leading position in seating expertise by offering customers not only a range of different materials, but also a choice of extraordinary surface structures, personalized printing or embroidered elements for customizing passenger vehicle seats. With proprietary market research and current development projects, the company aims to actively shape the passenger vehicle interior of the future. 

The trend towards further individualization is continuous: Already one in three new car buyers in Germany plans to utilize customization options to personalize their vehicle. Among buyers under 30, almost half would even like more vehicle design options. As Andreas Maashoff, director Industrial Design and Consumer and Market Research at Johnson Controls explained, these results reflect the changing perception and significance of the vehicle interior: "Cars are increasingly becoming living and working spaces due to technical developments, such as on-board computers and hands-free kits, as well as recent innovations in car connectivity and autonomous driving. Much like in living rooms or offices, people need to feel comfortable. Which is why, of course, they also want their mobile home - and even more so the seats - to be designed accordingly."

The megatrend toward vehicle customization can therefore clearly be seen as a growing market, offering automakers huge potential for differentiation in the future. "This demand must be met with the appropriate products," said Maashoff. "As the world's leading supplier of automotive seating, we believe it is our responsibility to offer the appropriate solutions for style trends, colors, designs and material selection. Thanks to our innovative textile printing, embossing, stitching and embroidery processes, not to mention our unique textile manufacturing and processing techniques, we are able to meet the needs of our customers. Proprietary market research into design and personalized seating also puts us in close contact with end customers and enables us to set new trends with our OEM customers."

This was the case, for example, with an OEM customer for which Johnson Controls designed the seats as removable cover seats. "These trim covers have a side zip, which means they can easily be replaced by the end customer," explained Maashoff. "A total of eight cover sets are available at an affordable price to give the interior a whole new look. Examples of these can be found at our IAA booth."

Trim covers can be customized with inkjet printing, for example: "The production process is similar to that of a paper printer," said Maashoff. "Each version of the seat surface is a single file, printed one after the other. This process allows us to create and mass produce individual items. At the IAA 2015, we will be presenting this printing technology on the seats of our SD15 seating demonstrator, which shows customers the latest products and technologies in a realistic vehicle environment."

Besides the inkjet process, Johnson Controls will be demonstrating its expertise in Frankfurt with two seat exhibits showing covers with 3D effects, color-contrasting stitching and design embellishments, and decorative embroidery, embossing and lighting effects, as well as laser-etched elements.

"The extraordinary sense of depth and high-quality feel is achieved through a combination of intelligent material design, new processing techniques and state-of-the-art stitching technology," explained Andreas Maashoff. "Here, the most important processes include the high-frequency welding of multi-layered textiles, embossing roller techniques and CNC embroidery programs."

As Maashoff further explained, the seating expertise of Johnson Controls is applied to all of these solutions: "Since we at Johnson Controls develop and produce all core components of a complete seating system ourselves - from structures through mechanisms and foams to materials and covers - we are able to create a 'complete seating experience.' Many of the sewing techniques and cover design elements mentioned are only really highlighted by the shape of the seat."

The 66th International Motor Show (IAA) Cars will be held in Frankfurt from September 17 to September 27, 2015. The world's leading auto show will be open to the media on Tuesday, September 15, and Wednesday, September 16, and to industry officials on Thursday, September 17, and Friday, September 18. It opens to the public from Saturday, September 19, through Sunday, September 27. For more information, please visit: .

Johnson Controls is presenting its innovations to the media and guests from September 15-27, 2015 in Hall 5.1, Booth B24.

For additional information and pictures please visit:

About Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 170,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and seating components and systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful.

About Johnson Controls Automotive Experience
Johnson Controls Automotive Experience is a global leader in automotive seating components and systems. The company supports all major automakers in the differentiation of their vehicles through its products, technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities. With more than 200 locations worldwide, Johnson Controls is where its customers need it to be. Consumers have enjoyed the comfort and style of Johnson Controls products, from single components to complete seat systems. With its global capability the company supplies more than 50 million cars per year. Johnson Controls pursues a spin-off of its Automotive Experience business. Following the separation, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016, the Automotive Experience business will operate as an independent, publicly traded company. Bruce McDonald will serve as the chairman and CEO of the new company. Beda Bolzenius will serve as president and COO.

For more information, please contact: 

Johnson Controls GmbH
Automotive Seating
Industriestraße 20-30
51399 Burscheid

Lars Boelke
Tel.: +49-2174-65-1117


Follow us on Twitter: @JCseating

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