Johnson Controls equips the interior of the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

Hidden off-road safety

Burscheid, Germany - 27 November 2008. As with numerous other Mercedes-Benz serial models, Johnson Controls, one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive interior systems, electronics and batteries, is also contributing to the interior of the new GLK-Class - with innovative materials and processes ensuring a luxurious touch and a high degree of functionality. Johnson Controls will be supplying the instrument panel, headliner including sun visors and grab handles, as well as the structure of the rear seat backrest.

As the latest model in the Mercedes-Benz range of off-roaders, the new GLK-Class continues a line of tradition almost as long as the cooperation between Mercedes-Benz and Johnson Controls on designing the interior. "Thanks to a combination of sophisticated technologies and innovative, functional materials, we were able to further enhance the look and feel," said Matthias Berg, Vice President and General Manager of the Daimler Customer Business Unit at Johnson Controls. Thus, for the first time, the surface of the instrument panel is made from a second-generation thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) in one or two colors.

Fabric ensures safety
Besides the look and feel, a high degree of functionality was a focal point when developing the components. In order to ensure the safe integration of the passenger airbag, a polyester fabric was partially integrated into the injection-molded instrument panel substrate. In combination with laser-weakened, predetermined breaking points, this allows the passenger airbag to deploy freely, without causing fragmentation when the hidden airbag door opens. To enable the knee airbag to deploy quickly, a very soft thermoplastic elastomer insert is welded in, optimizing crash behavior.

The headliners are produced using a highly automated process, which Johnson Controls also used in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to ensure reproduction of quality.

"With the high level of automation we could combine the various instrument panel production lines with great flexibility and contribute to the competitiveness of the production location Germany," said Matthias Berg on the latest series production launch.

Digital photos are available at www.johnsoncontrols.co.uk.

Further information is available from:

Johnson Controls GmbH
Automotive Experience
Industriestra├če 20
51399 Burscheid

Astrid Schafmeister
Tel.: +49 2174 65-3189
Fax: +49 2174 65-3219

Ina Longwitz

Tel.: +49 2174 65-4343

E-mail: ina.longwitz@jci.com