Faurecia innovation experts joined other industry thought leaders, offering their insights on trends impacting vehicle human-machine interface (HMI) and lightweighting strategies at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, Michigan.
Tamim Belhaj, product line director for center console, HMI and mechatronics for Faurecia North America Interior Systems, spoke during Panel 1, “Reimagining the HMI.” Belhaj offered expertise on the trends and possibilities that new technologies are presenting in the HMI space. He focused on two underlying forces creating disruption in the automotive interior: ever-increasing connectivity and vehicle autonomy.
Brett Schnur, innovation project leader for Faurecia North America Interior Systems, presented during the Panel 9 breakout session, “Lightweighting the Interior.” An expert on advanced materials that increase performance, style and efficiency, Schnur discussed three key Faurecia contributions to interior lightweighting:
— Faurecia’s Cross Car Beam, which can provide weight savings of up to 40 percent
— NAFILean, a natural resin fiber for lean design injection
— Lignolite+ and NFPP+, Faurecia’s proprietary lightweight compression-molded materials
In addition, Faurecia’s John Perraut, director of engineering for Faurecia’s Innovation Global xWorks team, moderated Panel 7, “Learning from Other Industries.” Perraut focused on how automotive companies can improve and evolve interiors by stepping outside of their established comfort zones and looking to other industries for inspiration and ideas.
“Some of the ways in which we engage with other industries is through tech scouting, attending consortiums and participating in industrial co-ops and start-up incubators,” said Perraut. “We can look to other industries for inspiration in partner technologies evolving across different fields, like the fashion and medical fields, for instance. Sometimes, even nature can guide and set the pace for consumer expectations. It is definitely an exciting time to be in the realm of innovation.”
Faurecia is a Platinum Sponsor of the 2015 WardsAuto Interiors Conference.
Faurecia is the world’s sixth-largest automotive supplier, with four Business Groups: Automotive Seating, Emissions Control Technologies, Interior Systems and Automotive Exteriors. In 2014, the Group posted sales of $25 billion. As of December 31, 2014, Faurecia employed 99,500 people in 34 countries at 330 sites, including 30 R&D centers. Faurecia is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris stock exchange and trades in the U.S. over-the-counter (OTC) market.
In North America, Faurecia had sales of $6.2 billion in 2014. It employs more than 20,000 people at 47 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.