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25.03.2004 – 14:00

Adient Ltd. & Co. KG

Johnson Controls raises the bar with its interior for the new Opel Astra
Upscale interior for greater comfort

Burscheid, Germany (ots)

No other car is being awaited with more
eager anticipation at the moment than the new Opel Astra: dynamic
design, innovative technology, high safety standards - the Astra has
what it takes to raise the bar for today's Compact Segment. And the
car's high-end interior is part of the reason why. The Astra interior
was created by Johnson Controls, one of the world's leading suppliers
of automotive interior systems, interior electronics and batteries.
In addition to the complete seating system, the instrument panel and
the overhead systems, Johnson Controls also developed the door and
pillar trim and sun visors. The system integrator brought diverse
facets together in the course of the "Astra Interior" project, with
colors, materials and fabrics blended to form a harmonious whole.
Stylistic statement: instrument panel with crease
In keeping with the design principle of "form follows function",
the first question to be asked even before the initial sketches were
made at the styling studios in Rüsselsheim was: Which materials can
provide optimal fit, sharp and incisive radii, narrow seams and
exemplary surface feel? Only once the right answers had been found
with the help of specialists at Johnson Controls was a design concept
for the interior developed based on these selections. Manfred
Rotterdam, Vice President and General Manager GM/Opel at Johnson
Controls comments, "The interior of the new Astra fits like a glove.
We've created a harmony of fine tactile quality, high-grade materials
and a generous sense of space." The interior is characterized
throughout by dynamic forms that echo the exterior mood. A
conspicuous stylistic signature is the characteristic bend running
down the middle of the clearly structured control panel below the
monitor. This bend picks up the crease in the hood and carries it by
way of the instrument panel right through into the interior. Johnson
Controls experts also paid special attention to the grain of all
plastic parts. A novel structure with tiny irregularities gives the
graining in the new Astra a unified appearance and offers a
significantly enhanced look and feel in comparison with previous
models.
Harmonious transitions from cockpit to doors
For the door panels Johnson Controls developed a new production
technique, known as "In-Mold Graining". Used in production for the
first time, this processing technology provides a great deal of
design freedom, preventing graining loss in even the most narrow of
radii.
These measurable improvements in the interior are joined by
elements that further reinforce a feeling of deluxe spaciousness,
including harmonious transitions from cockpit to door panels, the
generously proportioned center console and the optically merged twin
middle vent louvers. Added functionality is afforded as well: objects
such as sunglasses or keys can easily be stowed in the cockpit, map
pockets, the front section of the middle armrest or the glove
compartment.
More seating comfort and greater versatility in the rear
The seats developed by Johnson Controls offer not only more side
support, but also an active head restraint system. In case of a crash
the head restraints actively incline forwards, thus minimizing the
distance between head and neck; the danger of whiplash is
signi-ficantly reduced. In addition, the plastic levers for adjusting
seat height have been given a new grain and a more intuitive
operating technique. And there's something new in the rear as well:
the rear seat bench has been equipped with a so-called 40-20-40
percent division, providing a high degree of variability.
Focus on the driver
Johnson Controls based many of its interior design decisions on
one key aspect: consumer research. Drivers were surveyed in several
studies in order to find out just what they like and what they don't.
They touched and felt, evaluated and tested a range of different
automotive interiors.
In the new Astra these analyses culminated in an interior that
offers a standard of quality normally found only in the higher
segments. This becomes evident, for example, where instrument panel,
glove compartment and center console meet, three different elements
made of three different materials. Manfred Rotterdam remarks, "And
the whole nonetheless gives a wonderfully coherent impression. All of
the seams run absolutely regularly, with no visible tolerances." For
the consumers this is just one of many mosaic pieces that
unconsciously come together to produce a positive overall picture.
Photos will be available under www.johnsoncontrols-press.com.
ots Original Text Service: Johnson Controls GmbH
Internet: http://www.presseportal.de
Johnson Controls GmbH
Automotive Group
Astrid Schafmeister 
Industriestraße 20-30
51399 Burscheid
Germany
Tel.: +49 2174 65-3189
Fax:  +49 2174 65-3219 
E-Mail: astrid.schafmeister@jci.com

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