Demand rises for customized automotive interiors
The automotive industry is an ever-changing one, triggered by forces such as technological advancement and changing consumer preferences. Today’s consumers want more from their cars. They look for greater comfort and safety more than a stylish and sleek exterior. The interior of automobiles have grabbed a lot of attention among consumers in recent years. They have become the main differentiating criteria for the sale of a car and influence the purchasing decisions of consumers today and in the years to come.
The more luxurious, comfortable, and exotic the interiors of a car, the more the chances of its sale. Therefore, manufacturers spend millions and millions of dollars on R&D every year to continuously enhance the car interiors. Seats, flooring, interior lighting, headliners, legroom, steering, brakes, dashboard, door panels, and armrests are a few of the options which count for the interiors.
The automotive interiors market is growing at a stupendous pace today with several factors supporting its growth. The rise in demand for customized and technologically advanced vehicle interiors and the rise in disposable income of consumers are propelling the growth of the market. Furthermore, the untapped developing markets and in-vehicle infotainment create opportunities for growth of the industry.
Nonetheless, stringent government regulations and the expensive raw material prices act as impediments to the market growth. A recent report published by Allied Market Research says that the automotive interiors market is expected to garner $236.2 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period, 2016–2022.
Automotive interiors are extremely complex and need a close collaboration with modelers and engineers for their development. Several players in the field are adopting strategies such as launches, partnerships, and acquisitions to expand their market reach and enhance their product pipeline, leading to the overall market growth. For instance, Mercedes-Benz, the German automobile manufacturer revealed the interiors of its new car G-Class before the public premiere at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The interior of the car features an expansive digital display, leather seats, and more.
In January 2018, Teknor Apex Co., a material science company recently launched its new series of thermoplastic vulcanizate elastomers that is ideal for automotive interiors. In July 2017, Vayyar, a developer of leading-edge 3D imaging sensors launched 3D sensors which provide a detailed view of all the elements inside a car.
In August 2018, Toyoda Gosei, a manufacturer of products for the automotive and telecommunication industries announced its acquisition of Pecval Industria Co., a Brazilian manufacturer of automotive interior and exterior parts.
What follows is a closer look at these developments.
Mercedes-Benz revealed its new G-Class ahead of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The first noticeable feature of the car is the revolutionary expansive digital display which stretches from behind the steering wheel up to the center stack. It features two 12.3″ (312-mm) HD screens. Moreover, there will also be a range of G-Class trims which will ship with two fixed gages for the tachometer and speedometer.
The rear seats are pushed further back so that it can add an extra 5.9″ (150 mm) of legroom. This design change also allows adding extra room for back passengers. The steering wheel features carbon fiber or metal accents alongside wooden trim and leather upholstery.
New Series of Elastomers by Teknor
Teknor Apex Co. recently unveiled its Sarlink 6700 Seres, a new series of thermoplastic vulcanizate elastomers which is ideal for automotive interiors. The new series compounds have a very light hue that allows easier custom coloring and eliminates the need for drying prior to processing. They are also UV-stabilized to cater to the auto-industry specifications for interior components. Teknor says that the Sarlink 6700 compounds can be used in floor mats, bin mats, cupholder liners, and “soft-touch” grips, knobs, and buttons.
Vayyar Unveils 3D Sensors for Cars
Vayyar released its 3D sensors that provide a detailed look of the inside of a car, including information about passengers. The 3D sensors work in any lighting without the use of an optical image capture and are, therefore, better than cameras regarding privacy. These embedded sensors are small and low-cost compared with other sending solutions. They provide real-time information about the happenings inside a car, including monitoring passenger vital signs and driver attentiveness and are alerted when active monitoring of the car and the road are required. Vayyar also says that the sensors can automatically detect and send information about survivors within a vehicle in case of an accident.
Toyoda Gosei to Acquire Pecval Industria
Toyoda Gosei announced its acquisition of Pecval Industria Co., a Brazilian manufacturer of automotive interior and exterior parts. Based in Sao Paulo, Pecval has a production area of 11,400 m2 and produces automotive interior and exterior parts, including instrument panel components and radiator grilles. The transaction aims at integrating Toyoda Gosei’s business foundation in Brazil’s lucrative market. “Making Pecval a full subsidiary will strengthen Toyoda Gosei’s supply system for interior and exterior parts to better meet the purchasing needs of customers,” said Toyoda Gosei.