Electronic Products & Technology

Auto industry targets the next generation of buyers with new vehicle designs and technology advancements

Leading innovators in the automotive industry will showcase new ways to attract the next generation of buyers at the “Designing for Technology (and the Consumer) Forum.”

July 24, 2012  Staff

The new forum is part of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars (MBS), August 6-9 in Traverse City, Mich.

“Auto companies are challenged to deliver ‘must-have’ products to the next generation of car buyers — a group that in general may not be as enthusiastic about cars as previous generations,” said Brett Smith, co-director of CAR’s Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology group, and moderator of the forum. “This forum will give attendees a chance to see how companies are combining design and technology to meet this sea-change in the market.”

The 2013 Dodge Dart is an all-new vehicle leading its class to attract younger buyers with a sleek modern design and cutting-edge technology such as wireless charging mat (shown). Klaus Busse, head of Interior Design at Chrysler Group LLC, will lead off the forum with a vehicle walk-around of the Dodge Dart, showcasing its innovative features for the audience.

“The Dodge Dart is the showpiece for the Dodge brand’s next generation philosophy of interior design and technology,” Busse said. “Our team has built upon the beautiful, precision-crafted interiors rolled out last year and added some surprises with exciting bursts of color, eye-catching ambient lighting and state-of-the-art technologies typically found in more expensive vehicle segments like the new floating island bezel, which houses the segment-exclusive and customizable 7-inch TFT display and a class-exclusive Uconnect® 8.4-inch touchscreen Media Center.”

NVIDIA General Manager of the Automotive Business Unit Taner Ozcelik will then show how graphics processing units (GPU) are streamlining enhanced safety features, as well as infotainment and connected vehicle technology.

Ralf Meyer-Wendt, manager of Global R&D Technology, Lighting Products, Federal-Mogul Corporation, will continue the conversation with a display of Federal-Mogul’s interior LED technology, which allows consumers to personalize the interiors of their vehicle.
Auto companies are not just looking at the vehicle itself to attract new buyers. Technologies are being developed to improve sales, service, and personalization.

For example, Microsoft is creating technology applications to reach out to younger buyers. Microsoft’s Kirk Shields, industry market development manager, U.S. Automotive & Manufacturing, and David J. Graff, managing director, Manufacturing Industries, will demonstrate how Microsoft is using its motion-sensing Kinect technology for in-home virtual demonstrations of vehicles. They will also demonstrate how mobile computing technology can be leveraged to make car buying and service more consumer-friendly.

John Waraniak, vice president of vehicle technology, Specialty Equipment Market Association, will highlight how manufacturers are working with specialty equipment suppliers to help young buyers personalize their vehicles.

The CAR Management Briefing Seminars is an annual gathering of more than 900 auto industry, academic and government leaders addressing critical issues and emerging trends in an atmosphere designed to build relationships. In addition to the forum, the event includes targeted sessions focusing on topics such as  global manufacturing, tooling, connected vehicles, advanced powertrain, purchasing, sales, skilled workers, benchmarking and automotive strategy.

The 2012 CAR Management Briefing Seminars, August 6-9, will take place at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. For detailed information, visit the event’s website at mbs.cargroup.org.

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