Agenda and Keynote Speakers Announced For 2012 Penton Media's WardsAuto Interiors Conference

Feb 29, 2012, 10:15 ET from Penton Media Inc.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- New advancements in technologies, materials, safety and design trends will be explored at the 2012 WardsAuto Interiors Conference, to be held May 17, 2012 in Dearborn, MI. 

The day-long event covers virtually every aspect of the modern automotive interior, with keynote addresses from top industry designers, informative panel discussions and product demonstrations from major suppliers.  The agenda has just been posted to, and two influential keynote speakers have been announced.

Jens Manske, Executive Design Director, Volkswagen Group of America, will address the conference as morning keynote speaker.  In his role at Volkswagen, Manske and his team have been tasked with adapting Volkswagen interiors for American tastes, and given the recent sales resurgence of Volkswagen models in the U.S., his insights will shed light on the importance of vehicle interiors in revitalizing a brand.

Kevin Hunter, President of CALTY Design Research, Inc., the North American arm of Toyota's global design network, has been announced as the conference's afternoon keynote speaker.  Hunter's team has earned much attention for innovative new designs, such as Toyota's Lexus LF-LC concept vehicle, which recently made waves at the North American International Auto Show.  He'll share his vision for where Toyota interiors are headed as well as overall trends in design.

Breakout sessions will feature top talent from vehicle manufacturers and suppliers sharing the perspectives of designers, material engineers, marketers and other job functions with key roles in the creation and roll-out of tomorrow's automotive interiors.  Session topics include:

  • Infotainment Innovations
  • Eco-Friendly Interior Materials
  • Global Micro-car Interiors
  • Ambient Lighting
  • Engineering Interiors for Fuel Economy
  • Innovative Interior Materials
  • Consumer Wants and Needs
  • Trends in Luxury Interiors

Winners of the annual Ward's 10 Best Interiors, the top honor bestowed upon designers of automotive interiors, also will be recognized at the conference.  The designers from the winning interior programs will be called to the stage to accept their awards and recognize contributions from team members and vendors.

In addition, the winners of the third annual WardsAuto Interiors Student Design Competition will be announced.  The competition, sponsored by International Automotive Components (IAC) and Lear Corporation, with support from SAE International, will showcase the winning designs of students from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. 

Registration for the event is now live at

About Ward's Automotive Group
Ward's Automotive Group is a world-leading provider of auto industry news, data, and analysis, having served the industry's information needs for more than 80 years. WardsAuto World is a monthly magazine serving automotive professionals. is an online subscription service delivering virtually all the industry news, data, and analysis compiled by WardsAuto. Other products include the weekly industry newsletter Ward's Automotive Reports, the monthly magazine WardsAuto Dealer Business, and a wealth of information services including reference annuals, online databases, and customized data reports.  Ward's Automotive Group is part of the business-to-business media company, Penton Media.

About Penton Media, Inc.
As a leading, independent, business-to-business media company, Penton knows business and how to create and disseminate the vital content that moves markets.  Penton is where professionals turn to gain the critical insight, expert analysis, and relevant connections needed to compete and succeed.  The Company is headquartered in New York City with approximately 1,100 employees across key locations throughout the world including New York; Cleveland; Chicago; Overland Park, Kansas; Boulder, Colorado; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Hong Kong.  Penton is a privately held company owned by MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP, and its co-investors. For additional information on the company and its businesses, visit

Chris Lamphear
Director of Marketing, Penton Transportation Group
Phone: (248) 799-2658

SOURCE Penton Media Inc.