When the 2014 Corvette Stingray hits the market later this year, it won’t really be a product of just Chevrolet and General Motors.
In the background will be numerous companies providing their expertise in certain areas to help make the Stingray the best car it can be.
One of those companies is International Automotive Components (IAC), which will be playing a key role in the highly anticipated – and much improved – interior of the seventh generation Corvette.
IAC will be debuting its innovative Smartfoil solution for the lower door panels of the C7 Corvette. IAC will also supply other parts of the interior, including the hand-crafted instrument panel and floor console.
IAC’s Smartfoil TPO (thermoplastic olefin) offers better craftsmanship and luxury and cuts cost and weight over traditional solutions. It also reduces scratches that can be a problem on cars with low entry/exit points, so it sounds like a great solution for the new Corvette.
“We are honored to be associated with a strong brand like Chevrolet,” said Maurice Sessel, senior vice president of product engineering at IAC. “Having the opportunity to launch our newest technology, Smartfoil, on a hand-crafted, premium interior, such as the new Corvette, is an ideal application for this innovative solution. It also is a testament to market acceptance for this unique process.”
Smartfoil offers improved performance, durability, and styling, along with excellent grain definition and a vacuum-form feel at a similar cost to soft-touch paint.
The new eco-friendly material also provides excellent color and gloss control and a consistent finish. Designers are able to wrap the material after molding, without parting lines, for locations like the map pocket or other storage compartments. Eliminated is the traditional adhesive process, as the sheet is actually bonded to the resin during a one step molding process, producing an appealing and durable finished component with in-mold grain, while reducing assembly time and cost.
The components, which include the lower door panels, hand-stitched instrument panel and floor console, pillar trim, garnish, and floor mats, will be produced for the Corvette at the IAC facility in Dayton, Tenn. The company is testing pre-production and prototype components now and expects to ramp up full-scale production in July.
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