Johnson Controls develops and produces seats, entertainment system and starter battery for the new generation Ford Focus
Drivers can look forward to greater comfort in the new Ford Focus as well as features that are ideally suited to this new model. Johnson Controls, one of the world’s leading suppliers of automotive interior systems, electronics, and batteries has been supporting Ford in the development of this vehicle. For this second generation Ford Focus, the company has engineered and is producing the seats, the AutoVision entertainment system, and the starter battery. After having developed and manufactured the seating system and batteries for the first generation Focus, amongst other Ford Motor Company models, Johnson Controls was commissioned by the Cologne-based automaker to contribute to the second generation as well.
Top rating in EURO-NCAP safety tests
The new Ford Focus was recently honored with the highest level safety award, the EuroNcap 5 Star, as the best in its vehicle category. One of the reasons given was the behavior of the seats in a crash situation: the head restraint received awards from two independent institutes, “Folksam” and the “International Insurance Whiplash Prevention Group”, for its protective effect in the case of a rear-end collision. “In addition, the sport model features reinforced bolsters in the front seats for enhanced lateral support”, said Jeff DeBest, Vice President and General Manager Ford/PAG Business Unit Europe at Johnson Controls. All versions have good dynamic and static properties, thus contributing to the driver’s safety in a crash situation. But safety was not the only aspect examined; comfort also played an important role.
More comfort for the driver
The new Ford Focus will be available in four variants: from the standard package, to the comfort and sports-oriented ones, through to the deluxe sport model, Johnson Controls supplies seats with corresponding comfort features. For example, in the two upscale models the seats have an electric six-way adjustment for the driver´s seat and integrated side airbags as standard. The driver also benefits from a wider selection of optional features than were available previously, such as memory for the driver and passenger seat on the three-door vehicle, lumbar support, and seat heating.
Ford Focus standard equipment also includes a rear seat with a 60/40 split and a center armrest including cup holders and storage space. For the trim, the customer can choose between leather, textile – in various colors – or a combination of half-leather, half-textile. To enhance quality, the seats have been designed to harmonize with the appearance of the overall vehicle interior. Careful attention was paid to the fit and finish as well as the tactile properties of the seats and the colors of all seating components were precisely matched.
Cost efficiency with core component strategy
“By applying our seating core component strategy, we were able to realize the goal of providing even greater comfort and craftsmanship than in the prior model despite tight cost limits,“ remarked Jeff DeBest. This strategy is based on a high degree of component commonality, a design approach that has been applied to the seats in both the Ford Focus and C-Max models as well as in other programs for Ford Motor Company.
Beyond seating, Johnson Controls also supported Ford with other proven solutions – such as the AutoVision in-vehicle multimedia entertainment system.
Banishing boredom in the car
The AutoVision entertainment system keeps rear-seat passengers happily occupied even during long car trips. This versatile system is easy to use and supports all common formats, such as video DVD, MP3, and (S)VCD. Video game consoles, camcorders, and additional headsets can be plugged in at any time. Infrared stereo headsets are also available. The system can be comfortably operated using an infrared remote control. AutoVision is integrated into the overhead system, folding down at the touch of a button, and stowing away discreetly in the overhead system when the film is over. The driver’s view through the rear mirror remains unobstructed at all times. The system is currently available as standard for the new Ford Fusion+ and as an option for the Ford C-Max, and it will also be available as optional equipment for all Focus station wagon models above the basic version from spring 2005.
The energy to run AutoVision comes from the starter battery, a product developed by Johnson Controls that proved its worth in the previous Ford Focus model. The silver-calcium battery has been used in all Ford models manufactured in Europe since 1998 – and worldwide for the Ford Focus and Mondeo. This technology has contributed to reducing warranty costs for Ford.
Ford is therefore once again placing its trust in proven products and new technologies from Johnson Controls and at the same time benefiting from cross-platform concepts. “Our goal has been to assist Ford in introducing a higher performance, competitive new Ford Focus to the consumer,“ commented Jeff DeBest.
Further information is available from:
Johnson Controls GmbH
Tel.: +49 2174 65-4343
Fax: +49 2174 65-3219
Johnson Controls, Inc., is a global market leader in automotive systems and facility management and control. In the automotive market, it is a major supplier of integrated seating and interior systems, and batteries. For non-residential facilities, Johnson Controls provides control systems and services including comfort, energy and security management.
Johnson Controls (New York Stock Exchange: JCI), founded in 1885, has its headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. The company’s sales for 2004 totaled US$26.6 billion, the Automotive Group worldwide generating US$20.5 billion of this figure. The European headquarters is in Burscheid, Germany. The company’s product portfolio also includes instrument panels/cockpits, door systems, overhead systems, interior electronics, electrical energy management and engine electronics.
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