BURSCHEID, GERMANY (May 23, 1:55 p.m. ET) — Interiors manufacturer Johnson Controls is providing innovative door panels, seat structures and instrument clusters for the new BMW 3 Series.
The door panels for this new car are made using a combination of natural fibers and polypropylene that is 20 percent lighter than conventional components.
The driver's seat structure saves 3-4 kg, depending on the model. And JCI said the instrument cluster features an Automotive Pixel Link (APIX) high-speed, point-to-point connection.
Beda Bolzenius, president of Johnson Controls Automotive Experience, the parts help reduce fuel consumption, while using renewable materials.
Non-visible door panel elements for the BMW 3 Series sedan and sports wagon models are largely made of wood fiber. The natural fiber carrier is directly molded with PP, which makes the door panel “considerably lighter,” the company says.
A process called ‘groove lamination' is used to apply fabric or leather trim to the door panel, with the trim being joined in recesses, eliminating the need for an additional component and further reducing weight.