JCI Rolls Out Plenty Of Ideas

January 13, 2003
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DETROIT — As most of the attention Johnson Controls Inc. managed to muster in Detroit went to the seating collaboration with Steelcase Inc., the automotive supplier offered other ideas and news that are tied to its interiors operations in Holland.

As it has in years past, Johnson Controls rolled out an automotive interior concept called MEGA that’s designed with the features and functions that consumers want most. The interior system features more storage and improved comfort, craftsmanship and acoustics, said Jeff Edwards, group vice president and general manager in North America for Johnson Controls’ Automotive Systems Group.

“MEGA means more — more for the consumer,” Edwards said. “The consumer gets everything they expect and need, and it’s all in the interior.”

Among the features designed into MEGA: The BlueConnect telematics device for easy integration of a hands-free mobile phone and synchronization with other hand-held devices such as a PDA, as well as reconfigurable instrument clusters and replacing vehicle warning lights such as “check oil” with pop-up messages that detail the problem and suggest possible fixes.

Johnson Controls executives also announced that the HomeLink wireless control system that operates home lighting and security systems, garage doors, entry locks and gates recently surpassed 20 million units. HomeLink, manufactured in Holland and the product of designers at the Prince Technical Center, debuted in 1997.

Johnson Controls expects the device, now available on 148 vehicle models and installed in the sun visor or vehicle headliner, to exceed 5 million in global sales for 2003.

“Our customers and consumers alike welcome the value, convenience and peace of mind that the HomeLink system adds to their vehicles,” said Jim Geschke, vice president and general manager of electronics integration at Johnson Controls.           

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