Who do we love? Faurecia! Why do we love them? Because they are French and they took a 1972 Tatra, gutted the innards, ripped the engine out of the butt and created one of the most striking vehicles here at the LA Auto Show. Both inside and out. And of course, Davey and I are convinced that Faurecia's been listening in on our phone calls. Yesterday we snapped some exterior shots of their design study which were very nice indeed. However, the fine folks at Faurecia handed us a press kit with even better photos of the outside, and some really excellent glimpses on the triple-svelte interior. Seriously, the front door inserts and the seat backs are made from white oak. Real white oak, the kind you age burgundy in. And a press release after the jump.
Los Angeles, Nov. 14, 2007
Faurecia launches "Premium Attitude": added-value for automakers through design, innovation and engineering
Faurecia's new Premium Attitude concept car reveals the next generation of interior innovations available to automakers. Far from a flight of fancy, Premium Attitude displays Faurecia's ability to create new design innovations and integrate them into highly feasible engineering solutions within one car.
Faurecia is a global specialist in six major modules, including seats, doors, cockpits, acoustic packages, front ends and exhaust systems. Faurecia is committed to innovation and premium, creating design freedom for its customers through end-user understanding, technology integration, and production expertise. This new complete-value-chain approach accounts for the economic reality of the business in which both the costs and risks incurred by innovation must be managed appropriately. In a growing premium market, Faurecia shows that premium products are possible in any style of vehicle.
The premium trend
"The idea of premium is the single biggest trend to be sweeping the automotive market at the moment," explains Jacques Mauge, Faurecia's Executive Vice President of Group Customer Development. "Automakers are well aware of this. They are seeking to differentiate their vehicles through the notion of premium. Consumers today want much more than utility and function out of their vehicles. They also want pleasure and status. They want an experience."
Premium is one of the fastest growing market segments worldwide. In 2006, premium vehicle sales accounted for two million units in North America and more than 2.5 million in Western Europe. By 2019, this segment is predicted to grow to nearer three million in North America and close to 3.5 million in Western Europe.
Faurecia's answer: Premium Attitude
Faurecia covers all automotive market segments but "premium" is a quality that can be found in all vehicle segments. It is desirable but affordable and can be mass-produced. Premium should always represent "good taste", be well designed, constructed with high quality materials, exceptional craftsmanship and perceived quality.
But premium can be cost-effective. It is about intelligent product design, fine execution and an obsession for detail. It does not necessarily have to come at a cost. As a leading Tier 1 supplier, Faurecia is a driving force in creating new architecture giving design freedom to the automakers, and then turning their conception of premium into an industrial reality. Once a product is industrialized, Faurecia has the capability to mass-produce it with a consistency already respected by global automakers worldwide.
Ten key innovative technologies are revealed on the Faurecia Premium Attitude concept car, ranging from production-ready features that could be utilized today, to production-feasible solutions for the near future. These innovations have been built around three key directions:
Intelligent product design and user interaction
Magic experience and surprise in use
Obsession for detail
Sharing Faurecia's vision of the future
All innovations featured here illustrate how Faurecia is able to combine its extensive design and engineering expertise to offer a new level of "premium" values which automakers' designers can then utilize in their creative visions for new products. As Faurecia's Industrial Design Vice President Andreas Wlasak puts it: "This is the first ever concept to bring all of Faurecia's disciplines into play. But it is not just a catalogue of features; it is an integrated statement of market understanding, product innovation and development competencies within a full-size concept car."
Faurecia's strategy - based on component platforms where invisible parts are standardized as much as possible - opens space and design freedom for automakers. By presenting a full vehicle concept, Faurecia is able to demonstrate its design and engineering expertise across its six product lines in a vehicle environment, as the end-user would experience it. Each innovation can be appreciated in its context.
Anticipating user needs and creating a dialogue with automakers
The Premium Attitude concept car is aimed at starting new dialogue with automakers' design, product planning and senior management departments before new vehicle projects are started. As Philippe Aumont, Vice President of Product Planning stresses: "Our concept is not trying to compete with our clients, but to act as an enabler of joint innovation development." The Tatra's classic sedan silhouette was chosen as the basis for the Premium Attitude because it offers a very similar interior space to a modern Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series or Audi A6, and shows that such vehicle body types can still compete in terms of versatility and premium space, when developed intelligently. Furthermore, Premium Attitude emphasizes the increasing importance of vehicle interiors to offer more differentiation in an ever more fragmented automotive market.
This concept car is also a truly international project, encompassing Faurecia teams from France, the United States and Germany and involving Faurecia's expertise in the fields of industrial design, product planning, research & development and engineering.
For more details on Premium Attitude, download the complete press kit and photos from:
Faurecia is one of the world's leading automotive equipment suppliers, specializing in six major vehicle modules: seats, cockpits, doors, acoustic packages, front ends and exhaust systems. In 2006, the Group posted sales of €11.6 billion. It has operations in 28 countries and employs 60,000 people at its 190 sites. Faurecia is listed on the Euronext-Paris Eurolist market.