Eagle Ottawa – Redefining Luxury

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DEARBORN, Mich., May 29, 2009 – Eagle Ottawa’s Vice President of Design and Marketing Pat Oldenkamp participated in a breakout discussion on redefining the premium interior at the Ward’s Auto Interiors Conference May 21, 2009. During the breakout session, Oldenkamp discussed the key influences and trends driving the redefinition of luxury automotive interiors.

Key Trends:
“NANO” Luxury: Good things come in small packages
“The small luxury segment is becoming increasingly important due to economic uncertainty and a struggling automotive industry. Consumers who have enjoyed larger luxury vehicles are shifting to modest luxury, responsible spending and a return to simplicity,” said Oldenkamp. “These consumers now expect efficiency, comfort and luxury in a smaller package. Automotive OEMs are responding to this desire by adding luxury options and packages to smaller vehicles.”

Battle of the Brands: Differentiation and customization
“With this change in the automotive industry, luxury and mainstream brands are overlapping so the need for Heritage brands to differentiate and customize is even more important,” said Oldenkamp.  “The expanded luxury line-up is necessary to accommodate the trend for affordable luxury.  The need to have high perceived quality, added craftsmanship, exceptional execution and customization while providing what future consumers want will be key.

Consumer 2.0 and Beyond: What does the new luxury consumer want?
“The “Google” generation that needs instant information and real-time consumer “connectedness” is driving interior design,” said Oldenkamp.  “Consumers are seeking increased functionality and the use of green, lightweight & recycled materials.  This generation also expects innovative use of surface effects and color.”

“Lightweight” developments
A key area of development underway is the push for a family of lightweight leathers.  Reductions in leather weight from one half pound to three pounds are possible for automobiles.  Weight savings reduce the carbon footprint for the car and provide more choice for vehicle engineers.

SUMMARY
Luxury’s new aesthetic is created by automotive designers continuing to question, reevaluate and listen to consumers to effectively redefine luxury interiors for the future.

About Eagle Ottawa
Eagle Ottawa is the world’s largest supplier of leather to the automotive industry.  Their premium leather products are found in nearly every automotive brand on every continent. A global company with design, sales and manufacturing, facilities in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, Eagle Ottawa is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Eagle Ottawa has won numerous awards and accolades for its products and services.  Among these, in 2007 they received the Toyota Global Value Improvement Award and were the only automotive leather supplier named as a 2007 General Motors Supplier of the Year.

The company’s award-winning leather can be found in over 100 current models, including some of the world’s most acclaimed 2008 vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, BMW 3-Series, Toyota Venza and Honda Accord.

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