DETROIT -- Amerigon Inc. expects a revenue boost as high as 30 percent next year thanks to its product being designed into General Motors' new line of full-sized SUVs.
It's the first time Amerigon's seat heating and cooling system was designed into a high-volume vehicle platform.
Most of the cars carrying the system are luxury cars and SUVs with low volume.
The new line's seats were designed to make Amerigon's Climate Control Seat system an easy optional installation. The system heats and cools seats with a small thermoelectric device.
It will be carried on GMT 900 platform vehicles. Currently, it is offered on the 2006 Cadillac DTS and XLR and Buick Lucerne. It has been standard on the Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum Edition SUV since the 2004 model year.
Amerigon, of Dearborn, Mich., expects revenue of between $35 million and $36 million this year. The GM SUV business should push that figure up 25 to 30 percent next year, CEO Dan Coker said.
"This is very good for us," Coker said. "This was our first shot to be designed into a significant, high-volume platform."
Through the first six months of this year, Amerigon reported net income of $916,000 on revenue of $17.5 million.
Kevin Tynan, an Argus Research Group analyst in New York, said Amerigon should expect about a 25 percent revenue boost, using a conservative estimate.
Even with gasoline prices rising and SUV sales slumping, it's a big deal, he said. "They have essentially one product, and they don't have any competition," Tynan said. "There's huge potential for them."
Whether the climate-control seat system can latch onto even higher-volume models is another question. It's a roughly $600 option, which could work on a $15,000 car, depending on demand, Tynan said.
There's also potential for Amerigon with its BSST LLC research subsidiary. That company is working with the U.S. Department of Energy, BMW of North America LLC and colleges to convert auto exhaust heat into electrical power.