The changing look of automotive over the past decade

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By Richard Smylie | Feb 11, 2015
Close up of black car

Last month during the Detroit Auto Show, NPR discussed the evolution of our cars over the past ten years – including everything from designs and aesthetics, to technology and functional changes. The crux of this discussion concerned the average car’s life on the road today being 10 years old. During the recession car sales understandably decreased, but sales are increasing as the economic climate has improved. 

As far as changes in the past ten years, the same holds true for GMN Automotive’ s capabilities and trends within our product lines. New vehicles today look different from their previous models in numerous ways. The complexities of designs and quality requirements have both increased significantly, while also being subject to greater price sensitivity. To meet this challenge GMN Automotive has focused on improving our existing and expanding capabilities.

Within our exterior capabilities, GMN has developed higher performing base coats and top coats for our badging products.  Regarding exterior badges, by using thin lensclad and urethane topcoats we’ve improved the performance and durability of our construction. In addition, we’ve developed solutions to address galvanic corrosion for exterior parts. For all of our parts there is an increased focus on durability and quality (we will discuss this in an upcoming blog!).

Improvements can also be seen within our interior offerings. Recently we’ve expanded our backlit capabilities with new material offerings including stainless steel, added metal insert molding, metal over-molding, and additional nameplate capabilities, such as 2D and 3D electroform. Our improvements to these capabilities allow for better durability and appearance. GMN Automotive has made equipment investments that allow us to offer parts for larger applications, selective finishes, and durable metal coatings.

One of the major changes we are seeing across the automotive industry is the penetration of touchscreens in center stack displays – controlling everything from the radio and temperature, to GPS and other entertainment features. For a number of years, GMN has offered front panel integration and bonding to its customers. Our liquid optically clear adhesive construction offers performance benefits to the automotive industry, including better durability and visual clarity. 

The biggest change seen across GMN and the automotive industry in general is the demand for better quality products. Our current goal for all customer shipments is to reflect a 0 PPM rating.  Our quality manual and quality system certifications provide the tools for GMN to achieve this goal through continuous improvement methods – allowing our shipments to meet your expectations the first and every time!  

There have been many changes to quality standards, technology, and aesthetics in the automotive industry over the past 10 years. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be exciting to witness the changes to come in the next 10 years!