The all new Cadillac DTS and Buick Lucerne models feature complete interiors designed and developed by Lear Corporation in a collaborative effort between GM and one of its suppliers for a total interior.
In 2002, Lear was awarded total interior responsibility to work with GM to jointly design, source and engineer the interiors for a pair of the automaker's 2006-model luxury cars. The rationale was simple: leverage Lear's considerable expertise in vehicle interiors to create elevated levels of harmony, craftsmanship and quality perception in GM's upscale luxury vehicles.
The project involves an unprecedented level of teamwork and cooperation between GM and Lear. Involvement in the early stages of the program allowed Lear to interface with the vehicles as a whole as it worked hand-in-hand with GM's engineering and program teams over the past three years to provide critical input for the content, design and production processes that were selected for these vehicles.
Lear will provide approximately eighty percent of the interior content for the program and will also integrate components from other suppliers. In addition to the interior content, Lear also supplies one hundred percent of the wire harness and bussed electrical centers. In total, more than 1500 part numbers will be supplied in five colors sequenced from various Lear-controlled distribution centers.
"The GM program illustrates that Lear is recognized as a true leader among interior suppliers and can balance the quality, design, cost and manufacturing imperatives to deliver a total design to exceed the industry's best efforts to date," said Bob Rossiter of Lear.
Among the benefits to GM are lower cost and improved quality by getting Lear involved in balancing and managing the myriad of variables to achieve the optimum combination of interior components, based on its extensive experience as an interior provider. All design work was completed by the Lear engineering team while sourcing decisions were cooperatively made between Lear and GM Purchasing.
Premium materials and processes were carefully selected for the DTS and Lucerne interiors to allow them to compete among the best nameplates in the premium luxury segment. The vehicles are equipped with extremely comfortable leather seating, with optional one hundred percent leather upgrade to semi-aniline leather on the DTS. The interiors also feature expansive use of real wood and chrome accents throughout the cockpit, lending a jeweled effect to the console and LED lighting adds to the overall premium effect and customer wow appeal of the interior. Hand-wrapped door armrests and inserts add a soft touch and appeal to the consumer.
In addition, the DTS and Lucerne feature a number of Lear innovations, including Lear's Flexible Seating Architecture, and Spray PUR, a seamless polyurethane coating for the instrument panels.
The major benefit of LFSA is in the cost savings achieved by using a common seat architecture across multiple platforms as opposed to the traditional approach of designing separate seat structures for each vehicle. Lear's Spray PUR technology provides best-in-class grain and gloss performance for instrument panels and eliminates the visual seams for air bag compartments.
"This kind of ability to respond to customer needs with the full capability of the Lear portfolio of products, production and services is one reason why Lear is a leading player among interior and electrical system suppliers," said Rossiter. "Lear's total interior capability will continue to drive future new business wins and increased content per vehicle."
Lear is also conducting total interior programs on an exclusive, low-volume scale on vehicles with highly visible launches, such as the Ford GT and the Maserati Quattroporte. In the case of the current Chevrolet HHR, Volvo XC90 and Mahindra and Mahindra Scorpio, Lear's role was systems integrator, supplying partial content, manufacturing, sub-assembly, sequencing and some engineering while the design and sourcing were directed by the manufacturer. With the Mazda RX-8 sports car, Lear is putting its knowledge as a pure integrator to work, without providing major content.
Lear integrates automotive interiors, including seat systems, interior trim and electrical systems.