April 30, 2013





Driving a culture of innovation
By Tim Yerdon


It’s been a memorable month for the global Visteon Team. Two weeks ago we started our extended “Innovation Week” with the PACE awards and SAE Congress; today we wrapped it up with the closing of our exhibit at the 2013 Shanghai auto show.

During the 10 days of the show, we had a tremendous response to Visteon products and innovations from media, industry partners and key customers. Here are some “quick stats” on those who visited our exhibit:
  • 500 customers
  • 30 different OEMs represented
  • 35 senior executives 
While the positive customer feedback … the product solutions … the eye-catching exhibit are all nice, none of this is possible without a great team to deliver it! 

A well-known business leader in the Detroit area is fond of saying, “Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshipped.” I truly believe this. While many have great ideas and vision, only those who execute are successful in the marketplace. At Visteon, this encompasses those working on our future products and those who make the business run each day. Events like the Shanghai show help drive positive energy back into the broader organization and further instill a culture of innovation. Our employees capitalize on that innovative spirit to do great things for customers.

On behalf of Visteon, I thank all those involved in the Shanghai show – including those on the front lines, who spent 10 consecutive days supporting our booth, as well as those behind the scenes – whose countless hours made the “execution” nearly flawless. We were energized and humbled by the high level of interest in our technologies from customers and media – it drives us to keep raising the bar on the value we deliver.

While reflecting on the positive vibes from Shanghai, we’re already looking ahead. Next up: Key customer technical reviews throughout Asia, our largest market, to drive business opportunities in China, Japan, India and Korea.

The past month reminded me that the auto industry is as dynamic and exciting as ever. I look forward to sharing more insights down the road. 


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.

April 20, 2013



Shanghai, Media Day – e-Bee takes center stage as Visteon exhibit opens

By Tim Yerdon

Note: Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and all others impacted by the earthquake in China’s Sichuan province.


We put forth a great team effort today to officially “launch” Visteon’s booth at Auto Shanghai 2013, and to host the first of many customers at this terrific show.

Our president and CEO, Tim Leuliette, kicked things off at the opening ceremony for our exhibit, with some insightful remarks about the importance of this show and the China market to Visteon and the industry. I followed with some observations about what we’re calling “innovation week” for Visteon. Our leadership team then unveiled the centerpiece of our exhibit: the e-Bee vehicle concept. The cheers that greeted the introduction of this widely heralded vehicle signaled that Visteon’s participation in Auto Shanghai 2013 was officially under way!




Here’s a recap of what I shared with the Visteon representatives from around the world who are staffing our booth, as well as media and customers who attended our opening ceremony:

It’s an honor to be here representing Visteon and its global family of businesses at one of the most exciting automotive events in the world. This has been and continues to be a great week for Visteon. In addition to being here at the Shanghai auto show to demonstrate our latest innovations …
  • On Monday, in Detroit, Halla Visteon Climate Control (HVCC) took home the prestigious Automotive News PACE Award for our metal seal fitting in the product innovation category. HVCC also was a finalist in the manufacturing process category, while Visteon Electronics was a finalist for its innovative reconfigurable instrument cluster that debuted on the 2013 Lincoln MKZ.
  • On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Visteon was strongly represented at the largest technical gathering of automotive engineers in the world – the SAE World Congress in Detroit – where experts from across our family of businesses presented seven technical papers.
With these major events occurring at the same time, I consider this “innovation week” for Visteon. It reminds us that this industry is “driven” by the global products we all create to profitably move our businesses forward.

Now let’s talk about the star of the show: the e-Bee. This vehicle concept represents a true innovation platform for the company. It brings together the best of our family of businesses to demonstrate our vision for the future of mobility in 2020. Featuring more than 35 innovations driven by our customer and consumer insights, the e-Bee provides the ultimate tool to demonstrate our knowledge, value and product solutions to customers. Significantly, it integrates innovations from across Visteon’s enterprises: HVCC, Visteon Electronics, Visteon Interiors and our China joint venture, Yanfeng Visteon.

By working collaboratively around the world, our teams have disrupted conventional thinking about how we enhance “life-on-board” the vehicle and provide the ultimate user experience. We invite you to experience the e-Bee vehicle concept and all of the other great innovations at our exhibit.

Flying into Shanghai just a couple of days ago, I had high hopes for the interest and enthusiasm that our e-Bee and great product lineup would generate at Auto Shanghai 2013. So far, the reaction has exceeded even my lofty expectations. Along with the rest of the Visteon team, I’m looking forward to another great week ahead. 


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.


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.

April 19, 2013

Shanghai, Day One: Three Dozen Reporters and One Great Vehicle Concept

By Tim Yerdon


What a day – high energy, lots of questions from the media and a great supporting team! This was one of the most intense media days in which I’ve participated. At our technical center in Shanghai, we hosted 15 journalists at a morning session and 20 reporters in the afternoon. Each session opened with an overview presentation on the e-Bee vehicle concept, followed by a question-and-answer session. The journalists then were given the opportunity to sit in the e-Bee and speak with one of the experts  on the project. Simultaneously, I spoke with several reporters who wanted more information about our innovation process and the creation of the e-Bee.


Both sessions went longer than expected, but I felt it was from pure interest in the project, not due to any lack of understanding – since our digital assets gave media the necessary background to “dive” into some good questions. The real surprise to me was the interest in the “process of innovation” and the features and functions we incorporate for the different regions. Naturally, the technologies featured on the e-Bee for China garnered the most attention.  I’m curious how other companies view the China market with their vehicle concepts. What would you expect to see?

The consumer research we conducted in China last year with our partner YanFeng Visteon is going to pay dividends now. We have a strong China story that’s relevant to the overall e-Bee concept, and a keen understanding of the persona of a vehicle buyer in China today.  This will be exciting to see in action when the auto show opens, since we’ll be able to direct customers between the Yanfeng Visteon and Visteon booths. This event will be a true testament to collaboration within the Visteon family of companies.

As I write this, we’re loading up the e-Bee vehicle for delivery to its next stop:  The Shanghai New International Expo Centre for Auto Shanghai 2013. 


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.

April 18, 2013





Moving into the fast lane in Shanghai
By Tim Yerdon


Upon arriving in Shanghai, I quickly turned my attention to the many industry and company events surrounding Auto Shanghai 2013. Today we’re hosting more than 30 journalists at our China Technical Center for a special unveiling of the e-Bee vehicle concept before the show begins. As the e-Bee begins the China leg of its world tour, we anticipate the same positive reactions received in Europe and the U.S. Our local customers will get to experience the vehicle at the auto show on Saturday. In addition to the e-Bee, attendees will see our latest products from the Visteon family of businesses.

After the media review, I’ll participate in the CarDesign Awards – sponsored by Car Design News and Interior Motives – showcasing student work from around the world. This is always a great event, providing a glimpse of what the future holds by featuring work from the next generation of designers. It’s always well attended by our key customers.   

On Friday, I’ll go to the InteriorMotives Conference and hear a presentation by one of my colleagues, Shizuki Kajiyama, director of design for Yanfeng Visteon. Shizuki will discuss how designers can create a vehicle experience that encompasses a versatile work, rest and play environment to meet a multitude of vehicle owner needs.

Then on the Saturday it’s the main event: Auto Shanghai 2013. The excitement around this major auto show is enormous. The China market – which Visteon knows very well – is increasingly vital for automotive suppliers. It’s crucial to continually sharpen our understanding of what products and features appeal to the consumers here. When we innovate for our customers, we always need to think about how we support their global needs, while offering regional differentiation. Auto Shanghai 2013 provides a great forum for showcasing our capabilities to do just that.

I’m looking forward to a busy week. 



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.


April 17, 2013




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.

Soon it will be “wheels down” in Shanghai. Follow my posts this week as I’ll provide thoughts and insights on the many activities taking place in China.



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.