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‘Color, Material, Finish’ — a New Catch Phrase in Automotive Design

Image: Covestro CMF.jpg
As consumers increasingly focus on the comfort and aesthetics of automobile interiors, Covestro is strengthening its “color, material, finish” capabilities and moving up the value chain from being a material supplier to an innovative partner.

Covestro is strengthening its CMF (color, material, finish) capabilities to meet the growing design needs of various industries and move from being a material supplier to an innovative partner. Recently, the company successfully completed the first consulting project on CMF trends and material design for the Advanced Design Department at the R&D Center of Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC Design). 

Consumers are focusing more on comfort and aesthetics in the interior of automobiles. As a result, interior materials, haptics, and even the perception of lighting are playing an increasingly important role in purchasing decisions. As part of its cooperation with GAC Design's Advanced Design Team, Covestro's global Color & Design (CMF) specialists in the polycarbonates segment developed a series of tailored design themes and solutions. They are based on systematic studies of automotive interior trends in China and insights from consumer surveys. The results include the China Automotive Interior Design Trend Report, China Future Consumer Research Report, 2022–2023 Automotive Interior CMF Design Plan, and CMF Materials Display Walls.

"The consulting services we provide to GAC Design's Advanced Design team mark another new milestone for Covestro in CMF," said Christopher Stillings, Vice President and Global Head of Color & Design (CMF) at Covestro's polycarbonates segment. "In addition to our innovation capabilities in cutting-edge materials and processing technologies, Covestro has gained the expertise to transform CMF design trends into innovative color material finishing solutions that can be mass produced, creating more value for our customers through color and aesthetics. It is our goal to further expand our collaboration and service offering — in particular with our customers' designers and CMF experts."

"A reasonable selection of colors, materials, and finishes for automotive interiors is key to improving comfort and aesthetics," said Stephen Chen, Advanced Chief Designer at GAC Design. "Materials need to cater to the increasingly diversified interior designs for cars. Covestro's expertise in materials and CMF can not only provide us with the most appropriate materials, but also help us showcase their aesthetic value."

Previously, Covestro has collaborated with GAC to leverage its thermoplastic composites to produce lightweight seat backs for the automaker's electric concept cars. "We are pleased to be working with GAC again, this time with their design team. In addition to their R&D and CMF teams, we have also collaborated extensively with design companies and academic institutions. We have strong expertise and a good track record in providing customers with integrated solutions and making their products more attractive," said Terence Yau, Vice President of Covestro's polycarbonates segment in China.

The global Color & Design (CMF) team at Covestro's polycarbonates segment was established in late 2018 to provide customers with globally consistent polycarbonate color development and matching services through its six Color & Design Centers around the world. Polycarbonate-based color palettes and popular colors aligned with CMF trends have been released since 2020.

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