IAC Group Showcases Commitment To Next Generation Of Vehicle Interiors At Wardsauto Interiors Show

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (May 17, 2012) – International Automotive Components (IAC) Group interior systems are featured extensively on three of the 10 Best Interiors honored today at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference held at The Henry in Dearborn, Mich.

IAC also presented a design student from the College for Creative Studies with the third annual Ecoblend Environmental Award, recognizing automotive interior design concepts that feature environmentally-conscious materials and processes for manufacturing greener vehicles.

IAC Content Featured in Ward’s 10 Best Interiors
The new Dodge Dart features significant IAC interior content, including its instrument panel, center console, door panels, hard trim, overhead system, carpet and throw-in mats, IP ducts, trunk trim, and dash and package tray silencers. IAC supplies all Dart content from its new sequencing facility in Belvidere, Ill.

IAC solutions also help define the European-built Range Rover Evoque, with its instrument panel and complete cockpit, floor console, overhead system, wheel arch liners, pillars, trunk trim – all tuned in a system configuration for optimal Noise & Vibration Harshness (NVH) performance.

The new Chevrolet Sonic features IAC door panels, instrument panel, carpet, luggage shade, garnish trim and various hard trim components comprising a substantial portion of the vehicle’s interiors.

All of these vehicles were on display during the one-day event.

New Eco-Friendly Materials Abound
According to IAC Senior Director of Advanced Engineering and Material Development Rose Ryntz, the new focus in automotive applications is on lightweight, eco-friendly materials that improve fuel economy and reduce the use of petroleum-based products. IAC currently uses a number of sustainable materials in its applications and concepts, and is actively working with OEM customers on new developments to assist with lightweighting and improved fuel economy as OEMs work to meet pending CAFE requirements.

The company also is developing materials that meet consumers’ desires for more environmentally-conscious options in vehicle interiors, such as a kenaf-based door bolster for Ford that significantly reduces weight and provides a green alternative to a component previously manufactured from oil-based resin.

“OEMs have an increasing interest in greener materials, as their customers are seeking more environmentally responsible vehicle options,” said Maurice Sessel, vice president of product engineering at IAC. “One of our core focus areas at IAC is to bring innovative solutions to OEM designers for consideration and implementation as new vehicles are being planned.”

IAC Honors CCS Student in Design Competition
During the program, College for Creative Studies student designer in his senior year, Soochan Lee, received IAC’s Ecoblend Environmental Award, which is presented annually to a student designer who embraces green mobility and renewable materials in a next-generation design concept for vehicle interiors.

Dongwan Jo, also a CCS senior, was selected as this year’s Grand Prize winner of the WardsAuto Interiors Student Design Competition by a distinguished group of judges from the automotive design community, including David G. Lyon, Executive Director of Interior Design, General Motors; Cliff Wilkins, Chief Designer, Chrysler/Jeep Interiors, and Michael Arbaugh, Chief Designer, Vehicle Interiors, Ford Motor Co.

“It is refreshing to see the efforts of the talented student designers as they focus on bringing more sustainable options to the forefront,” Sessel said. “These talented students are vital to our industry and we are proud to support them.”

Ecoblend is IAC’s family of interior flooring, acoustics, soft trim and package tray solutions manufactured from post-industrial waste. Ecoblend products minimize the use of petroleum-based products in manufacturing, reduce landfill and offer a cost advantage over conventional solutions.