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SOURCE International Automotive Components (IAC)
SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- International Automotive Components (IAC) will supply many interior components – including the hand-crafted instrument panel and floor console – and will debut its innovative Smartfoil™ solution for the lower door panels on Chevrolet's most anticipated new vehicle, the 2014 Corvette Stingray, launching later this year.
IAC's Smartfoil TPO (thermoplastic olefin) is the exclusive material with a high-quality feel that adorns the interior lower door panels of the 2014 Stingray, providing improved craftsmanship and luxury, while reducing cost and weight over traditional solutions. Smartfoil's durable top coat reduces scratches that can be evident in vehicles with low entry/exit points like the Corvette.
"We are honored to be associated with a strong brand like Chevrolet," said Maurice Sessel, senior vice president of product engineering at IAC. "Having the opportunity to launch our newest technology, Smartfoil, on a hand-crafted, premium interior, such as the new Corvette, is an ideal application for this innovative solution. It also is a testament to market acceptance for this unique process."
Smartfoil is ideal for applications that require improved performance, durability and styling, while maintaining a luxurious look and feel. Its A-surface material has an excellent grain definition and a vacuum-form feel at a similar cost to soft-touch paint and represents up to 10 percent weight savings per component over traditional solutions.
The new material is eco-friendly and also provides excellent color and gloss control and a consistent finish. Designers are able to wrap the material after molding, without parting lines, for locations like the map pocket or other storage compartments. Smartfoil eliminates the traditional adhesive process, as the sheet is actually bonded to the resin during a one step molding process, producing an appealing and durable finished component with in-mold grain, while reducing assembly time and cost.
Smartfoil also is ideal for most other injection molded parts, including consoles and instrument panel components. Advanced material applications currently being considered at IAC include the use of Smartfoil with natural fiber compression molding and other proprietary hybrid molding techniques for future applications.
As GM seeks to attract the next generation of Corvette enthusiasts, the craftsmanship of the interior is increasingly important. To help meet additional consumer demands for luxury and improved styling, IAC also provides the hand-stitched instrument panel and floor console, pillar trim, garnish and floor mats to the new Corvette.
IAC will produce the various Corvette components in Dayton, Tenn. Pre-production and prototype components are currently being tested and IAC expects to begin full-scale production in July, 2013.
IAC is a leading global supplier of automotive components and systems, including interior and exterior trim. IAC's estimated 2012 sales were $4.7 billion. The company operates 78 manufacturing facilities in 18 countries. IAC employs approximately 24,000 people around the world and is headquartered in Luxembourg. For more information, visit www.iacgroup.com.
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