One of the biggest contributions a Tier 1 supplier can make is to integrate innovative ideas into a complete package for an automaker.
One of the year's most interesting concept packages was Johnson Controls Inc.'s interior for the Kion, which debuted at the Paris auto show in September.
The concept car incorporates the results of the company's consumer surveys and innovations from partners, such as Sagem's dual-plane instrument cluster.
The front seats are attached to feet rather than rails, and each passenger has an 'infotainment system communication pillar' that has connection ports for a laptop or notepad and can be equipped with a monitor, microphone and loudspeakers.
The Kion's interior is done in warm, friendly colors fitted in an open, cheerful arrangement.
The communication center between the well-spaced two front seats helps create a hub in the core of the vehicle and changes the feel of the passenger compartment to a more communal space.
The concept incorporates wireless and hands-free communication.
Additional interior flexibility is gained by the removal of the spare tire, which allows the sofalike rear seat to travel forward and backward. The lack of a spare tire - because Michelin run-flat tires are used - creates stowage space beneath the trunk floor.