Press Releases, 11.09.2013

The Joyson Group at the IAA 2013 - Preh Center Console Concept is a Technological Highlight

Bad Neustadt/Ningbo/Frankfurt. The Chinese-German automotive group Joyson Electronics will present itself at the International Motor Show IAA 2013 in Frankfurt from 12-22 September 2013 with its operating companies Preh and Joyson Automotive. The divisions “Automotive Electronics” (Preh) and “Automotive Components” (Joyson) will present their entire product range in Hall 5.1, Stand A26. It extends from air ducts for turbo chargers and air vents for air conditioning systems (Joyson), for example, through electronic control units (Preh) to climate control and driver control systems (Preh). The technological highlight at the IAA is a new center console concept from Preh which provides different options for intuitive function selection.

The concept combines different input systems which ensure optimal user-friendliness in the selection of functions by haptic and acoustic feedback as well as tactile aids. The multimodal function selection aims at transferring the new operating habits of smartphones safely into the vehicle cockpit – in highest haptic and surface design standards.

The special features of the new center console concept from Preh include surfaces characterized by three-dimensionally shaped genuine glass and three-dimensional function icons. These icons can be produced without using LCD displays. They are a development component of Preh’s fourth-generation black panel display technology. The touchpad in the front of the central armrest is an entirely new concept. It differs from the current touchpads in series production in two decisive aspects: the newly developed touchpad provides haptic feedback and, secondly, the touchpad surface is also made of real glass. The slightly convex glass surface therefore produces a haptic sensation of its own when touched and is highly scratch-resistant. In addition to obligatory character recognition, as an additional feature the touchpad includes a function which is similar to the mouse cursor of a computer. Moving a finger across the pad surface, the desired points in the navigation display are accessed by cursor and then selected by click.

Another innovation is the design of the climate control panel, which was placed between two rotary knobs. Although the panel needs no buttons, using capacitive sensors instead, it still offers the advantages of conventional buttons, i.e. haptic feedback and a shape-coded surface.

Jochen Ehrenberg, Executive Vice President of Product Development at Preh, explains: “Operating concepts always involve personal preferences. This is why, with our new concept, we did not aim to present the single, allegedly optimal operating system. Rather, we want to show how users can be offered several options for selecting one and the same function in the way they personally find most comfortable. This approach is not limited to the center console, by the way, but also includes other operating options like the multifunction switches on the steering wheel.”

With this center console concept 2013, the automotive supplier continues the strategy it has pursued since 2007 of presenting its own concepts for complete center consoles at the IAA. They serve as inspiration for joint projects with customers. Based on this approach, innovations from Preh have already been transferred to series production repeatedly.

Preh has developed successfully in its partnership with Joyson not only in technological terms, however, but commercially too. As the largest division of the Joyson Electronics Group, Preh ( “Automotive Electronics”) grew its sales by 12 % in 2012 to app. EUR 462 million (2011: EUR 412 million). And sales of the control system specialist have kept rising in 2013: during the first six months of this year, sales again showed double-digit growth compared to the prior year period. Business is also very dynamic at Joyson Automotive: The “Automotive Components” recorded sales of EUR 195 million in 2012. This represents an increase by app. 20 % compared to 2011 (EUR 162 million). And in 2013, Joyson has also already registered another sales increase in the double-digit range.

Joyson founder and majority shareholder Jeff Wang says: “Joyson and Preh have entered an entirely new dimension as an international automotive supplier group. We have combined the strong market position of Preh in Europe and North America with the good market access of Joyson in China, thereby creating a technology company that is growing dynamically worldwide.”

Notwithstanding their close strategic coordination, the two corporate divisions have retained their identity and conduct their business operations with a very high degree of autonomy. Preh President and CEO Dr. Michael Roesnick says: “On the one hand, we support each other to access new market potentials. On the other, we at Preh have retained the required independence to service our established customers optimally. In other words: Despite our enhanced internationalization, at core, Preh has remained Preh.”

Alongside its automotive activities, the Joyson Group, Ningbo (China), also comprises a real estate division. In the automotive segment, the group recorded total sales of 680 million EUR in 2012 with some 6,000 employees. Its automotive activities are combined in the listed company Joyson Electronics (600699:Shanghai) which consists of the divisions Automotive Electronics (Preh) and Automotive Components (Joyson). The automotive supplier Joyson was founded in 2004, while Preh, founded in 1919, has a history spanning almost a century. The majority takeover of Preh took place in 2011, and Preh has been a fully owned subsidiary of Joyson Electronics since year-end 2012.

Preh is a globally active automotive supplier and currently employs 3,300 employees in Germany, Portugal, Romania, Mexico, the United States and China. Preh is headquartered in Bad Neustadt a. d. Saale, Germany. The development and manufacturing activities of Preh focus on climate control and driver control systems, electronic control units, sensors and assembly systems for leading automotive manufacturers.