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ME Channels / Motorized Vehicles

Keeping an Eye on Design

James D. Sawyer,
Senior Editor

While much of the news coming out of the auto industry is about ways to meet upcoming CAFE standards, that doesn’t mean that OEMs and vendors have taken their eyes off the ball when it comes to designing appealing, attractive vehicles that consumers will want to buy. One such company is Lear Corp. (Southfield, MI).

Sawyer, JamesLear, a global supplier of seating and electrical distribution systems, has unveiled a new line of automotive interior fabrics and leathers. While the first thing that attracts a potential customer to a vehicle is its exterior styling, the interior is what the driver sees most often and where she or he is most involved with the vehicle. “Our new range of designs and technologies allows far more creativity for an OEM designer,” said Ray Scott, Lear executive vice president and president of the seating business unit. “We performed extensive research in fashion, architecture, home interiors and pop culture trends. Many of these new designs are a product of Lear’s integration of Guilford Performance Textiles in 2012 and partnerships with other industry leaders.”

The collection features six innovative processes for fabric and leather designs that leave room for customization, durability and protection. And it seems only natural that, because leather is involved, these innovations have been branded. They are:

• Aventino Signature allows customization through secondary processes, such as special perforation, embossing, laser etching and printing.
• Aventino Defense enables the use of light-colored leathers thanks to its dye-transfer prevention and greater cleaning capabilities.
Aventino Defense enables light leather color choices with dye transfer prevention and greater cleaning capability for enhanced leather protection.• TeXstyle Defense features customizable layers with extra spill protection and greater prevention against staining, mildew, dust, and bacteria, which improves overall vehicle air
quality, reduces static electricity and absorbs smoke odor. These layers of protection and prevention can be mixed and matched to come up so an OEM can offer a seat covering with specific attributes.
• TeXstyle Enhance uses embossing, printing, laser etching, embroidery and sonic welding in order to arrive at a desired look through color, texture and pattern placement.
• TeXstyle Lite allows cost management flexibility by using a lightweight covering in a seat’s low-wear areas without sacrificing appearance, performance or quality in high-wear areas.
• TeXstyle Tough has been engineered for high-wear applications that combine styling and sturdy construction in a product developed for exceptional durability, such as a truck or an SUV.

The collection was introduced at The Fillmore Detroit Theater and presented live models as well as car seats both outfitted in Lear’s new materials.

“Lear,” said Matt Simoncini, company president and CEO, “provides complete automotive seat systems, including seat covers—encompassing cutting and sewing as well as fabric and leather—foam, mechanisms and structures. Our systems approach to craftsmanship includes global capabilities in cut-and-sew, lamination and processing of surface materials. This allows for integrated seat development, resulting in quicker turnaround, elimination of hidden costs from multiple suppliers and better management of inventory levels and the total value chain.”

Published Date : 10/29/2013

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