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Johnson Controls Debuts Four Innovative Interior Concepts at the International Auto Show

5 January 1998

Johnson Controls Debuts Four Innovative Interior Concepts at the 1998 North American International Auto Show

   Three Total Interiors and Instrument Panel Concept Reflect The Company's
                         'Inventing The Future' Theme

    PLYMOUTH, Mich., Jan. 4 -- What's ahead in automotive
interiors? Johnson Controls , the world's largest supplier of
automotive seating and interior systems, provides some insightful answers to
this question as it unveils four interior concepts at the 1998 North American
International Auto Show in Detroit.
    The concepts, which include three "total vehicle interiors" and one
futuristic instrument panel, reflect Johnson Controls' theme for the show --
"Inventing the Automotive Future from the Inside Out.  "Here's a quick look at
the interior concepts being displayed at the company's product and technology
exhibit in Detroit:

    -- Van-Go, a concept interior packaged in a 1998 Chevrolet Venture
       minivan, is designed to meet the needs of the active family of the near
       future. It's fully loaded with prototype systems and "surprise and
       delight" features from Johnson Controls.
    -- Symbiosis, a totally harmonious, near-future concept interior in a mid-
       size sedan makes its North American debut. The concept emphasizes
       aesthetic appeal, practical elegance and value.
    -- Chrysalis, a one-half-scale model of a vehicle interior in the year
       2010, shows how much cockpits are likely to change during the next
       10 to 15 years. The focus is on comfort, ergonomics, versatility and
       electronic control.
    -- The Response(TM) Instrument Panel System, a concept instrument panel,
       in which Johnson Controls' designers and engineers redefined this key
       interior system, making it a futuristic "occupant interface module."

    Johnson Controls officials say they have a strong interest in developing
full-featured interior systems for the future because consumer demand for
cockpit enhancements is strong and growing.
    "People expect more from their vehicle interiors than ever before, because
they are traveling more," said Nathan Young, vice president of design for
Johnson Controls. "We're prepared to satisfy the consumer needs and wants of
both today and tomorrow, with our technology leadership, world-class design
and engineering capabilities, and culture of innovation."
    The Van-Go minivan concept interior was designed for people "on the go" --
those with active lifestyles who work hard and play hard. It includes
AutoOffice(TM), a passenger-side, seat-integrated mobile office that has space
for a computer, as well as a writing surface and ample storage area. The
concept vehicle features Johnson Controls' Easy Entry/Exit Seat -- with a
driver's-side cushion that lowers when the door is opened -- to provide easy
vehicle ingress and egress.
    The second row of the Van-Go interior has a fold-out "child activity
center" with two desks and a storage area integrated into the back of the
center bucket seat.  It also includes additional bucket seats -- one with an
integrated child safety seat and the other with an integrated child booster
seat. For third row seating, a split-bench prototype includes Johnson
Controls' lightweight, removable SlimLine(TM) Seat on one side and an
integrated cargo storage system on the other. Uniquely designed fluorescent
lights have been integrated into the back of seat headrests for second- and
third-row activity lighting.
    With the Symbiosis concept interior -- introduced for European automakers
at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September -- Johnson Controls designers
created a unique, "Euro-styled" interior for a mid-size sedan in just six
months. It includes a sliding, expandable trunk storage system; the industry's
first fully adjustable sun visor; door panels with "joy stick" controls and
generous storage areas; multi-toned leather seats and trim; and an overhead
system that integrates interior lighting and a voice recording/playback
    Johnson Controls' Chrysalis concept interior demonstrates the ability of
the company's design team to visualize future car cockpits and stimulate
modern ideas with customers. Among the prototype systems included are a
sophisticated control device in the center armrest that allows drivers and
passengers to manage and monitor vehicle systems; wireless control units that
passengers use to operate non-driving and digital communications functions;
cantilevered front seats with slim, memory-soft trim and lightweight space
frames; a rear-facing jump seat with self-inflating soft trim; and a third-row
seat that stores flat with the load floor for enhanced storage and space
    The Response Instrument Panel System is the outcome of a unique Johnson
Controls' design team exercise in which a vehicle's instrument panel and floor
console were integrated and redefined to satisfy consumer needs of the future.
The concept was created after the company performed extensive research on the
various ways drivers and passengers use the instrument panel and center
console areas within their vehicles.
    The Response system features all controls on a horizontal plane -- much
like a computer keyboard/mouse system. A personal computer in the instrument
panel provides Internet access and vehicle navigation and diagnostic
capabilities. Storage areas -- accessible to both front-seat passengers -- are
included in the center console. Response -- which incorporates recyclable
materials -- also includes slide-out drawers, a hands-free phone,
reconfigurable displays; and a voice recording/playback device.
    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.
    Prince -- a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson Controls located in
Holland, Michigan -- is a leading provider of automotive interior systems and
    CONTACT:  Jeff Steiner of Johnson Controls, 734-254-5932.
    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 For access to other Johnson Controls news
releases and additional company information, visit the company's site on the
World Wide Web at
    Company News On-Call: or fax, 800-758-5804,
ext. 473547.
    Web site:

SOURCE  Johnson Controls