Objective: Automotive supplier Faurecia, based in Nanterre, France, wanted to generate buzz about its innovations and showcase them in a way that original equipment manufacturers hadn't seen before.
Strategy: The company developed a concept car using a 1972 Tatra outfitted with Faurecia premium products and technologies, such as a sliding trunk drawer and a self-supporting instrument panel. The car, dubbed “Premium Attitude,” was unveiled at the 2007 LA Auto Show in November.
Results: The concept car generated a tremendous amount of buzz, according to the company, and led to coverage in numerous industry publications.
Automotive equipment supplier Faurecia designs and produces six major vehicle modules: seats, cockpits, door panels, acoustic packages, front ends and exhaust systems. The company wanted to generate buzz about its innovations and showcase them in a way that original equipment manufacturers hadn't seen before, said Stacie Tong, manager of communications for Faurecia, North America.
It also wanted to engage auto-makers' design, product planning and senior management department before they start new vehicle projects. To do so, the company created a concept car, dubbed “Premium Attitude,” by outfitting a 1972 Tatra with numerous Faurecia technologies and products, such as a sliding trunk drawer and a self-supporting instrument panel. The company chose the Tatra because its classic sedan silhouette offers an interior space that is similar to modern luxury vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6.
Working with Airfoil Public Relations, Southfield, Mich., Faurecia chose to unveil “Premium Attitude” at last November's LA Auto Show. The company chose that particular show for a couple of reasons, Tong said. First, the concept car was an international project; it was developed in Europe but involved teams from North America as well. “We thought it'd be a great way to show what an international company we are by doing the world premiere somewhere other than where our headquarters are in France,” she said. There were European and North American OEMs in attendance at the show, she added. Second, she said, the LA Auto Show has a strong focus on sustainability and design—an ideal backdrop for introducing a very design-oriented concept.
Faurecia's presence at the show included a booth in the lobby area, Tong said, to which the company invited automaker clients as well as the media. The company had a brief press conference and made information on the concept car available in a virtual press kit with links to high-resolution images and videos. The car was also the focus of a special event for designers within the show.
Faurecia was pleased with the result of its efforts, Tong said. “All of these things created a tremendous amount of buzz,” she said. “If you look at the coverage that we had from the LA Auto Show, so many people said, "Wow, it was the best-looking car at the show.' It was something that people hadn't seen. That blend of old and new was extremely appealing.”
Premium Attitude has made appearances at various other events around the world, including private customer events, Tong said, helping to bolster Faurecia's brand. “Having a concept car like this and having it at a variety of events around the world helps us build our reputation as being one of the brightest and best,” she said. M