Press Releases, 02.10.2009

Preh supplies the interior control system for the Chevrolet Equinox

Preh GmbH of Bad Neustadt, Germany developed and is producing the center stack for the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox. The system integrates all the control functions of the center console in a compact manner and includes the controls for radio, navigation and climate, in addition to the switches for safety functions. This is an advantage for GM because the automaker no longer needs the complex interface management system that is otherwise necessary when different suppliers develop control systems for various functions.

Through the use of color and appealing visual effects, the eye is drawn to the center of the cockpit and the control system, which Chevrolet designers refer to as a “floating” center stack. The floating impression is generated by a combination of ambient lighting and a special coating. 

For the ambient lighting, Preh developed a new flexible light guide, used for the first time in a control system. This light guide frames the center stack panel almost completely in a halo of ice-blue light. The surface of the system was provided with an appealing optical depth effect, achieved by using a special 3D-effect coating in a “refined silver” color. 

Preh engineers made sure that the entire system met GM’s design requirements for rugged durability, and they brought to bear years of know-how and experience in the development of control systems for various luxury vehicle manufacturers. For example, they used the proven approach of integrating optical encoders directly on the printed circuit board. As opposed to traditional encoders, this design has the advantage of allowing the haptic characteristics of rotary knobs to be configured individually.

Preh manufactures seven different versions of the center stack in its facility in Monterrey, Mexico.