From my childhood until today, I have enjoyed travelling in vehicles taking long distances. Travelling with my family on vacation was an adventure, and my body really resisted sitting for long hours in the back seat, enjoying the scenery of the road and having fun with my sisters. Nowadays, having my car and driving, the situation is different since being able to feel safe, comfortable, and healthy and avoid being distracted on the road is the most important thing when going out with my family.
Seats are the most underrated part of a car. We love to get comfortable in the car, but we don’t know how important seat design is to our safety, health and comfort when riding in a vehicle. Studies show that a driver spends about 22,000,000 hours in the car during his or her lifetime, and, despite the fact that today’s car seats have greatly improved in their design and ergonomics, we still complain about back pain, neck pain, breathing difficulties and premature fatigue. Loss of concentration due to fatigue is the cause of one-third of serious road accidents in Europe. I can truly say that I have been able to notice the evolution of ergonomics in the car seats I have owned as I can still travel long distances without getting as tired, and one of the reasons is because of the technology and design that companies like Adient (NYSE: ADNT) strive for with seating equipment and other vehicle accessories.
From the beginning of history, automotive car seats were a totally straight bench or board that did not provide any comfort to the drivers and occupants of the car, but little by little, they were improved by incorporating better designs with more comfortable shapes and padded parts. Nowadays, the vehicle seat is an element of constant research since they realized that it is the element of greater interaction between the driver and the car. Many car companies prefer to hire companies that specialize in ergonomic seat design, and this is where Adient (NYSE: ADNT) is making its mark in the world.
One out of every three car seats in the world is manufactured by Adient (NYSE: ADNT) as they produce the metal structures and components that are integrated into car seats such as backrests, cushions, recliners, height adjusters, as well as small stamping parts. One of Adient’s (NYSE: ADNT) strengths is that they use innovative steel in their manufacturing, which allows them to reduce the weight of the structures without sacrificing strength with lighter and thinner designs. This technology and design make the seats lighter but stronger, thus saving a few pounds in the overall weight of the car and, consequently, saving fuel since the lighter the weight, the less fuel is used.
One of the aspects that frustrates the driver is sitting in a seat that causes back pain, especially when he spends hours in endless traffic. You notice that the seat gradually sinks lower and lower, and the pain increases. To solve this problem, Adient (NYSE: ADNT) has developed and maintains a specialized team with the objective of finding the best seat firmness and comfort for the driver, identifying the optimal amount of foam to use, depending on the size and weight, to the ability to adjust them to each person to achieve optimal ventilation and ergonomics with the body posture. They have not only become the largest supplier of car seats in China but also exports its products to nineteen countries. It has thirty-five research centers and 18,000 employees in China. Vehicles from Ford, Mazda, Volkswagen, Suzuki, Hyundai, General Motors, Volvo, and Land Rover, among others, feature Adient’s (NYSE: ADNT) highly engineered and technologically advanced seats.
One of Adient’s (NYSE: ADNT) greatest challenges is to supply each of these companies with highly innovative products around the world, reducing their product development and design cycles, as well as manufacturing, engineering and logistics costs. For this reason, Adient (NYSE: ADNT) teamed up with Siemens (BATS EU: SIE) and Linux, companies specializing in digital software and process standardization, to develop a more impactful strategy to meet the requirements of its customers around the globe. Finally, the future of seating is focused on digitalization associated with the incorporation of new materials and designs to reduce the density of materials and automatic adaptation to each person, providing comfort and safety never seen before.