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Natural fiber technology from Yanfeng Automotive Interiors reflects the spirit of the times

Environmentally friendly innovations in lightweight construction thanks to natural fibers

Frankfurt, Germany –

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI), the global leader in automotive interiors, will showcase process-optimized interior technologies at the IAA 2017. Megatrends such as sustainability, personalization and the defining spirit of future mobility requirements are reflected in the premium lightweight solutions. By combining visible natural fiber decor with modern design, YFAI is creating an interior decorative trend.

Megatrends such as individualization, shifting values, technical and scientific progress, scarcity of resources and climate change are having a particular effect on developments in the automotive industry as well. The trend towards lightweight construction is still proving a driver of process and product innovation in automotive engineering in 2017.

As we move towards autonomous driving, the vehicle interior is becoming the next living space. This makes an attractive finish with surfaces made of sustainable materials more relevant than ever. YFAI has developed a technology that makes visible natural fibers an attractive choice: Customized or tasteful decorative surfaces of visible natural fibers for door panels that offer a great deal of flexibility in the design process. There are no limits in series production to the degree of personalization and differentiation, with the automaker free to select the lightweight natural fiber surfaces of its choice.

“Natural fibers have been used in the automotive sector since the car was invented. Nowadays, the combination of lightweight construction and reduced complexity, individualization and shifting values is giving a fresh boost to the use of visible natural fibers. With these innovative surfaces, you also get the visible quality of the fiber finish, the visual impression of the design and a pleasurable feel when you run your hand across them. We are creating the next living space — an all-round feel-good interior,” said Han Hendriks, Chief Technology Officer for YFAI. The use of renewable and natural raw materials as a sustainable alternative to plastics is fully in step with what the young generation in particular is looking for. YFAI is presenting the recyclable, artistically styled, natural fiber center sections of the door panel in both a natural look and trendy designs.

Shifting values: Individualization, electric mobility and shared mobility

“We are experiencing a shift in values towards greater personalization and individualization,” explained Han Hendriks. YFAI is working closely with an institute for psychological market research, which regularly analyzes trends among future generations of motorists. “By using alternative forms of mobility in particular, such as car sharing and electric cars, drivers want to help protect the environment as a whole while still feeling hip and secure,” said Hendriks, in reference to a recent consumer study. YFAI has incorporated these insights into the values of future mobility customers into its development of the visible natural fibers.

European debut: CHyM Eco-Lite now as an instrument panel

The decision falls to the manufacturers and consumers: For those who find unadulterated natural fiber paneling without a skin too progressive a surface, CHyM Eco-Lite from YFAI is a lightweight wrapping solution. CHyM (compression hybrid molding) is based on a lightweight support structure which replaces the plastic substrate with a lightweight natural fiber mat, lowering the weight of the support structure alone by 20 percent compared with conventional parts. YFAI will present an instrument panel manufactured entirely using the CHyM process for the first time at the IAA 2017. Around half of the material used consists of renewable fibers, such as hemp, flax and kenaf.

The XiM18 concept vehicle as a CHyM scale model

CHyM technology can reduce the weight in door panels by around 40 percent and the mass in instrument panels by another 20 percent. Other panels, such as the side panels of the center console, could also conceivably be produced as lightweight elements using the CHyM process. YFAI will showcase a scale model of the “eXperience in Motion” (XiM18) at the IAA, illustrating the weight savings theoretically achievable in a compact crossover when CHyM is used for all suitable parts. This design approach can reduce the weight in the vehicle interior by over three kilograms.

The XiM18 concept with CHyM Eco-Lite is presented to a professional audience during the YFAI press conference on September 13, 2017. YFAI gives the visible, natural fiber surfaces their European debut in various door panels at its booth in Hall 5.1, B26..

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About Yanfeng Automotive Interiors:
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI) is the global leader in automotive interiors. YFAI is redefining how people relax, work and play in their vehicle interiors today and decades from now. Headquartered in Shanghai, the company has approximately 110 manufacturing plants and technical centers in 20 countries and more than 33,000 employees globally. They design, develop and manufacture interior components for all automakers. Established in 2015, Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is a joint venture between Yanfeng, one of the largest automotive suppliers in China and Adient, the global leader in automotive seating. For more information, please visit

Media Contact

Astrid Schafmeister

Senior Manager Communications

Public Relations - Europe

+49 2131 609-3028

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