'Symbiosis' Concept Grabs Attention as Johnson Controls Introduces Interior Prototype
5 January 1998'Symbiosis' Concept is Likely to Grab Attention at Detroit Auto Show as Johnson Controls Introduces Interior Prototype in North America
Unique, Stylized Vehicle Interior Offers Glimpse of Future, Reflects Supplier's Industry-Leading Design Capabilities PLYMOUTH, Mich., Jan. 4 -- Vehicle exteriors -- fancy sheet metal, sleek styling, or unusual body designs -- traditionally have created the most excitement at auto shows. But a unique concept interior from Johnson Controls may grab a significant share of attention at the 1998 North American International Auto Show. Called "Symbiosis," the much-heralded concept interior makes its North American debut at this year's Detroit automotive exhibition. Symbiosis -- which gained favorable industry reviews at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September -- is a totally harmonious, near-future interior that emphasizes aesthetic appeal, practical elegance and value. It's one of the focal points of the product and technology exhibit being presented at the auto show by Johnson Controls, the world's largest supplier of automotive seating and interior systems. The unique, "Euro-styled" interior -- integrated into a mid-size sedan -- has a look and feel that are appropriate for the North American market and beyond. Finished in multiple tones of "monochromatic" green, it features many rounded and finely textured surfaces, and is amply appointed with full-leather trim. A natural flow and consistency among all component systems is achieved withunique styling approaches and visual cues. "Symbiosis is a major step forward in automotive design and styling, as well as interior performance and function," said Nathan Young, vice president of design for Johnson Controls. "There will be increasing demand for interiors that work as cohesive, integrated systems -- both functionally and aesthetically." Young says designers and engineers from Johnson Controls developed Symbiosis "from the ground up" in just six months. "Like the concept we created, our design people from Europe and North America -- who are some of the best in the business -- worked with harmony and synergy," he said. "Symbiosis is an extremely significant and successful project for us, since our vision is to redefine the automotive interior." All components within Symbiosis were developed by Johnson Controls specifically for the concept -- including seats, door panels, instrument panel, overhead system, headrests, sun visors, trunk storage system, utility lighting and other on-board electronics. The advanced products and systems featured in the Symbiosis concept interior include: -- Multi-toned, all-leather seats and trim. -- A sliding, expandable trunk storage system integrated with the vehicle's back seats. Repositioning the rear seats adds a significant amount of storage space that is both secure and easy to access. -- Door panels with "joy stick" controls and generous storage areas, including space specially designed to hold an umbrella. -- An overhead system that integrates interior lighting and TravelNote(TM) -- a voice recording/playback device for storing "reminder" messages. -- HomeLink(R), an electronic communication system in the overhead module that provide links to home security, lighting and convenience controls. -- A unique, center rear-seat headrest that is totally retractable. -- SunTracker(TM) the auto industry's first fully adjustable sun visor, which can be moved by hand along a continuous track from the vehicle's rear-view mirror to the door pillar. -- Recessed utility lights (sconce lights) integrated into the door pillars. After exhibiting the Symbiosis concept interior at the Detroit event, Johnson Controls officials will show it to interested automakers in North America and other world markets. Johnson Controls, Inc., with headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a global market leader in automotive systems and building controls. Through its Automotive System Group, it designs and produces seating and interior systems for automakers worldwide, and batteries for the original equipment and replacement markets. The Controls Group serves the non-residential buildings market with controls systems and services, and integrated facility management. Founded in 1885, Johnson Controls operates in more than 500 locations around the world. Johnson Controls securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the trading symbol "JCI." The Plymouth, Michigan-based Automotive Systems Group of Johnson Controls is the world's largest supplier of vehicle seating and interior systems, and is a major supplier of batteries. In 1997, the company's worldwide operations supplied products for more than 20 million vehicles. The Automotive Systems Group employs more than 45,000 people at 157 facilities worldwide and achieved $8 billion in sales for the 1997 fiscal year. During the same period, Johnson Controls, Inc. (all divisions) recorded sales of $11.1 billion. NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs and captions to accompany this story is available from Wieck Photo Database by calling 972-392-0888, or on the World Wide Web at htttp://www.media.wieckphoto.com CONTACT: Jeff Steiner of Johnson Controls, 734-254-5932. Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 473547. Web site: http://www.johnsoncontrols.com SOURCE Johnson Controls, Inc.