Press Releases, 28.10.2011

Preh named supplier for 2012 VW Beetle and Passat

NOVI, Mich. – Preh, Inc., a leading global supplier of automotive interior control systems, has been named the supplier for the multifunction switches in the steering wheel of the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle and Volkswagen Passat models. In addition, Preh will also supply the Beetle with a manual climate control system.

Since the end of the 1980s, Preh has been a supplier to Volkswagen. What originally began with climate control systems for the Passat and the Rabbit, strongly grew over the years to more than 10 million climate control systems that Preh has produced since then for the most diverse models of the Volkswagen Group. A manual climate control system, which Preh already manufactures for the current VW Jetta, will now be introduced in the Beetle.

Besides manual systems, Preh dominates the complete spectrum of semiautomatic as well as fully automatic climate control systems with multiple zones. According to Nick Lontscharitsch, president of Preh, Inc. in Novi, Mich., the company ranks worldwide among the few control system suppliers that may manufacture no air conditioning units themselves, but nevertheless have built an expertise in the specialty field of climate comfort control.

Lontscharitsch sees this comprehensive software know-how as a competitive advantage: “Climate comfort control capability worldwide lies almost entirely with the manufacturers of air conditioning units and not with suppliers of switches and control systems. Since we are proficient with both control surfaces and the software for vehicle air conditioning, we can develop climate control systems independently of a specific air conditioning manufacturer. For this reason, car manufacturers remain fully flexible in their purchasing.”

Likewise, Preh supplies multifunction steering wheel switches for many Volkswagen models, now also for the Beetle and Passat. One of the design challenges with these switches is the very limited packaging space in the steering wheel itself.

“As result of the production development,” said Lontscharitsch, “we created one of the most low-profile steering wheel switches with integrated electronics and LIN interface, not higher than 12mm. The switch is most impressive with a very precise and uniform haptic.”

About Preh
Founded in 1919, Preh is a globally operating group of enterprises with more than 2,600 employees in Germany, Portugal, the U.S.A., Mexico, Romania and China. Preh is headquartered in Bad Neustadt a.d. Saale, Germany. The company achieved revenues of € 351 million in 2010. Preh’s development and production competencies focus on vehicle interior control systems, sensor systems, electronic control units and assembly systems for the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers.