Market Snapshot


New-vehicle buyers are increasingly demanding customized vehicle interiors that make their vehicles feel uniquely theirs, according to a recent article. The trend spans newly licensed “Echo Boomers” to well-experienced baby boomers. However, the latter is more concerned with comfort while the former want different interior colors for their personalization needs, commented Erich Merkle, IRN Inc. director of forecasting, in the article.

A panel of experts at the 2007 Ward’s Auto Interiors Show commented that one of the best opportunities for automakers and suppliers to customize vehicle interiors at a low cost is through the use of lights. Ford is already using lights to customize its Mustang for customers. Automakers are showing more concept cars at auto shows with lighting schemes that add the feel of personalization to the vehicles.

Mazda, for example, has received positive feedback from showgoers about its use of lighting in its Ryuga concept, which the company says would complement a driver’s character. Scion’s Fuse concept is another example of how lighting is used to add personalization. Lighting is used to create different gauge configurations, as well as accent the seats.

Finally, the article cites the Chevrolet Volt concept as another indicator of vehicle interior lighting becoming key to personalization. The Volt incorporates adaptable lighting and ultraviolet light-projected displays that are projected over the vehicle’s instrumentation. The reconfigurable displays relay information on the status of the intricate E-Flex system and can provide a driver with his e-mail status, traffic patterns and personal reminders.

Although vehicle concepts provide an idea of where automakers are going in the future, the article cites that the vehicle lighting concepts are not making their way into production vehicles today due to a disconnect among designers and executives. However, specialty-equipment companies could take advantage of this growing design trend and give consumers interior-lighting products to fulfill demand today.

Source: Byron Pope. (June 7, 2007). “Auto Makers Strive to Personalize Interiors.” Retrieved June 7, 2007 from