SOUTHFIELD, Mich., June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lear Corporation, one of the world's leading automotive seating and electrical power management systems suppliers, is proud to announce it has expanded its "first to market" SoyFoam™, a soybean oil-based flexible foam material, to the 2011 Ford Explorer seats. The advantages of SoyFoam™ include a lower environmental impact to produce, the soy-based foam material is up to 24 percent renewable as opposed to traditional non-renewable petroleum-based foam, and offers up to 67 percent reduction in volatile organic compounds emissions.
Ford Motor Company was the first automotive manufacturer to express an interest in soy foam for automotive applications and the first to demonstrate that soy-based polyols could be used at high levels (~40%) to make foams capable of meeting or exceeding automotive requirements. In 2004, a partnership was formed between Ford and Lear for the purpose of commercializing SoyFoam™ applications, with initial work concentrated on the molding of headrest and armrest components. Today, Lear and Ford lead the industry with market ready applications for this renewable resource and others including the introduction of Dynamic Environmental Comfort System (DECS)™, Lear's patent-protected, multi-layer advanced seat comfort system that is currently on the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. DECS™ provides up to a 50 percent weight savings and reduces VOCs by up to 70 percent.
"We are building significant momentum in our advancements in creating environmentally friendly automotive seating foam," said Lou Salvatore, senior vice president of Lear's Global Seating Operations. "The Lear-Ford partnership has enabled us to lead the industry in innovating seating components, such as SoyFoam™, that benefit the environment without sacrificing performance and cost." Lear's SoyFoam™ is currently on the Ford Taurus and Mustang platforms and will launch in three additional Ford programs later this year.
Lear Corporation is one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive seating systems and electrical power management systems. The Company's world-class products are designed, engineered and manufactured by a diverse team of approximately 75,000 employees at 198 facilities in 36 countries. Lear's headquarters are in Southfield, Michigan, and Lear's common shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol [LEA]. Further information about Lear is available at www.lear.com, or contact Mel Stephens of Lear Corporation at 248-447-1624.
SOURCE Lear Corporation