April 20, 2013

Shanghai, Day Two: A glimpse at the future, as the auto show revs up
By Tim Yerdon

It’s been another fulfilling day in Shanghai. My day started at the Interior Motives China Conference, where Yanfeng Visteon presented the China version of the future of mobility – the cousin of Visteon’s e-Bee vehicle concept. It was a great presentation that included a video and panel discussion. Confirming the future that we have predicted for some time, this group of thought leaders – which included VW and Toyota – talked about the transition of interior design from molded plastic to enhancing the in-vehicle experience through creative uses of technology. These enhancements range from graphic design for the electronics . . .  to interior lighting across the cabin . . . to more flexible architectures and open software systems that allow rapid change. These are all capabilities that Visteon can provide from within our family of businesses.

While this event provided an opportunity to get a pulse of future trends, it was even more rewarding to see that our customers are looking forward to visiting our booth at the Shanghai show and experiencing our vehicle solutions. This confirms that the innovation process we employed on the e-Bee speaks a language that our customers understand. There was particular interest in how we mass produce globally while differentiating for various regions.

Later in the day, at the Auto Shanghai venue, I had the opportunity to see the finishing touches being made at the Visteon booth – C015 in Hall N5. What a great effort by the team after many months of planning! This will be one of the benchmark booths in our hall; as a tier one supplier, we’re quite proud. Complementing our booth is the nearby  HASCO booth, where Yanfeng Visteon will be demonstrating its deep knowledge and capabilities for the local market.

I’m looking forward to the opening ceremonies with our leadership team, supporting staff and technical experts. I often remind myself that automotive is a product-driven industry and we need to constantly deliver innovative solutions that exceed our customers’ expectations … to help them sell more vehicles. Over the next nine days, we’ll be participating in a major global auto show, demonstrating our best innovations and product technologies, and having rich dialogue with our customers at a vehicle, system and component level. It doesn’t get much better. 

Tim Yerdon is always looking ahead to tomorrow’s technology. As global director of innovation and design, he leads a team responsible for translating market trends and “voice of the consumer” data into innovative concepts and first-to-market products. During his 18-year automotive career, he has worked in manufacturing, product development, program management and racing at Visteon and Ford Motor Co.

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