Visteon “Innovation Week”
By Tim Yerdon
This week kicks off a flurry of product-driven activities for Visteon across the globe. As I write this, I’m eight hours into a 14-hour flight to Shanghai to support our activities related to the auto show, including a variety of customer, media and industry events.
This series of events began Monday evening with the 19th annual Automotive News PACE Awards ceremony in Detroit. After attendees paid their respects to victims of the tragedy in Boston, the attention quickly shifted to exciting new products driving our industry. A total of 33 finalists were in the spotlight, including Visteon’s instrument cluster on the Lincoln MKZ, and Halla Visteon Climate Control’s metal seal fitting and swash plate assembly method. I had the opportunity to attend a pre-ceremony event to gather some additional insights from the judges as to what they’ll be looking for in 2014. There’s a visible transformation on the horizon, as the world of consumer electronics, software, connectivity and the ideal user experience takes on more prominence; it’s just not about chassis and powertrain technologies anymore. I reflected on how Visteon started the year by showing our e-Bee vehicle concept at CES in Las Vegas in January – and how the impact and influence of consumer electronics on the automotive world continues to grow.
PACE is considered the “academy awards” of the automotive industry and this event brought out the “best of the best” supplier innovations from around the world. I was extremely proud of the HVCC team for winning a product innovation award for the metal seal fitting, and of the Visteon teams for making it to the finalist stage – an achievement in itself. The PACE ceremony opens the SAE 2013 World Congress, which this year features seven presentations by Visteon and HVCC technical experts. Unfortunately, I’m not able to participate this year as this whirlwind week continues.
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.