Soft Furnishings of Cars

Soft Furnishings of Cars

soft furnishings include fabrics, lighting, accessories, paintings, etc., which can make an empty squared home have a sense of warmth. Car as a mobile home, soft furnishings is also an essential part. 

The most important things of the soft furnishings in cars are the main and auxiliary instrument panels, armrests, door panels, etc., which have both decorative and functional attributes.

We need more elegant while also functional interior features.

Unlike home furniture, soft furnishings of cars have much fewer choices and varieties. If you are familiar with some brands or models, you can basically drive them with your eyes closed, there's no problem for you to find where the glove box is, and how to use the armrests. The interior designs are basically all the same, and it can feel boring sometimes.

However, there are indeed some brands that are trying to change and enrich the user experience of the interior designs.

Some car’s rear armrest integrated a multi-functional extended table board, small objects such as iPad, mobile phone, kindle, etc. are more convenient to be stored,  which is more tidy than randomly scattered on the seat or squeezed into the door panel storage compartment.

Soft Furnishings of Cars

The design cleverly uses the rear center armrest to get an extension board, and in order to prevent the risk of breaking the cantilever structure, the designer also improved the sub-dashboard, and the table board can be connected to its protrusions.

Maybach S680 and some other luxury cars also designed closed rear armrest passages.

Maybach S680

ANother design aimed at storing the Volkswagen umbrella slot. On the main driver's door panel, Kodiaq GT designed an umbrella slot to confront the annoying rainy weather, seems to be practical and make the inside room more tidy.

Soft Furnishings of Cars

Another design that received lots of compliments is the Honda Fit’s double-opening glove box that can separate between commonly used objects and infrequently used ones. It will be more convenient for the one on the passenger’s seat to put items, we all know it’s kinda inconvenient to open the glove box especially when the passenger has long legs!

Soft Furnishings of Cars

But why did these practical new designs doesn’t get widely promoted and used?

From the perspective of marketing, these interior parts designs actually did not receive much good response, and were only promoted in a small range within the brand. Then there’s the doubt, why is there still a problem of hard to promote since these designs received good response from the public?

I summarized few potential reasons here below:

  1. The current interior design is well-accepted already, new design will increase cost.

This is the basic logic of industrial operation. When the output of the same thing increases, its unit cost decreases.

  1. New designs will increase the difficulty of research and development of interior parts.

Don't think car interior parts are just "decorations", it needs to take into account the dimensions of ergonomics, service life, safety, vehicle layout, etc. It requires a lot of time and labor to develop new interior parts.

For the rear armrest integrated multifunctional table board, not only the mold of the rear armrest must be changed, but also the plate mold of the corresponding area of the sub-instrument panel. This is the so-called linkage effect brought by the layout of the vehicle. 

And this is not enough. Engineers also need to carry out a variety of test verifications, such as load test, connection point rigidity test, vibration durability test, etc., and can only be mass-produced after repeated improvements. Therefore, the new design will have higher requirements on product structure and materials, and will also increase the R&D cycle and vehicle manufacturing costs.

  1. Minimalism and simplicity are trendy, the functionality of interior parts is neglected.

In recent years, more and more people prefer the minimalism and simplicity designs, but car manufactures can’t neglect that the true and good simplicity is the combination of practical function and a tidy clean outlook design.

In 1886, Karl Benz built the world's first car powered by an internal combustion engine, and since then cars have gradually become an essential commuter tool. At that time, cars were nothing more than a combination of three wheels + a sofa + an internal combustion engine. But nowadays the trend is like the cars seem to be moving back to this definition, four wheels + a few seats + a battery plate…

The question is, are we fond of this definition of cars?

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