A supplier of auto interior parts will marry its knobs and buttons to the growing auto electronics and telematics field in a joint venture that could provide drivers with a better sense of what their navigation and infotainment systems are doing in the car without looking at a screen.
Preh GmbH of Bad Neustadt, Germany, a supplier of injection molded electronic controls to automotive companies, has formed Preh Car Connect, a 50/50 joint venture with its parent company, the Chinese firm Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp.
The new venture combines Preh's existing business in human-machine interface systems with TechniSat Automotive, a supplier of infotainment, connectivity and telematics technology, which Preh and Joyson acquired earlier this year.
Ralf Voss, who was appointed as CEO of Preh Car Connect in July, said: “Cars not only bring their occupants from A to B, they are now a mobile control center. The data exchange of the vehicle with mobile devices like smartphones or hands-free equipment is growing in importance and networking beyond the boundaries of the vehicle is increasingly expanding.
“Whoever wants to be on board of the mega trend of networked vehicles and the global platform requests of car manufacturers needs a certain size as a company and correspondingly high technological and financial resources.”
Preh Group is expecting double-digit growth for Preh Car Connect, with the predecessor company recording 400 million euros ($424.5 million) in sales in 2015. TechniSat Automotive's staffing level was 1,200.
Preh Car Connect has its headquarters at the previous TechniSat Automotive location in Dresden, Germany, where it is currently working on expansion plans. In the meantime it has created 120 new jobs in Dresden.
Stefan Gottschlag, chief technical officer of Preh Car Connect, described the combined capabilities: “For example, it is possible to integrate the haptic feedback from Preh operating systems into our Dresden based navigation and infotainment systems, while our tuners or internet-connected assistance systems can supplement Preh central consoles.”