Individuality as a Strategy for the Future
STRÄHLE+HESS in Focus at the international BAIKA Congress / Schönharting: Trend Analyses and Visions Show the Way.
Ingolstadt / Althengstett (k-w). As individual as consumers’ expectations of new products in design und interiors: innovative suppliers need to respond just as flexibly to the ongoing challenges of markets. Kirsten Schönharting, Chief Executive of STRÄHLE+HESS emphasized this in her speech at the 13th annual BAIKA Congress “Zulieferer Innovativ 2011” on Wednesday, July 6, in the Audi Forum Ingolstadt to about 1000 professional guests from 20 countries.
In the center of attention at this major international congress held by Bayern Innovativ for enterprises and institutes were future strategies for the automotive industry and its suppliers. “Today, the interior has to suit the auto model – tomorrow, it must suit the driver”, Schönharting explained in her keynote on the realization of automobile interiors at STRÄHLE+HESS in accord with current trends in textile material conceptions. With individual solutions created on a daily basis, she said, the Swabian automotive supplier constantly renews its reputation as the internationally leading supplier of special textiles.
STRÄHLE+HESS has 120 employees and annual sales of 23 million Euros. The creative team never ceases its search for solutions to the challenges of design and products for the future. Under the slogan Texspiration, a representative collection based on current trend analyses serves as the foundation for material conceptions. In this context, textiles are often presented as material for surprisingly simple problem solutions (Texperience). The customer benefits from 80 years of company experience and the high level of its creative culture, for example when it comes to achieving rapid readiness for serial production.
The textile market is highly fragmented, she explained, and is influenced by many factors – with consumers, lawmakers, manufacturers and investors playing key roles. STRÄHLE+HESS develops its strategic response to structurally significant developments by occupying market niches. A major part of sales results from new products, which are usually protected by patents and dependent on the employees’ know-how, so that they cannot be copied by competitors. The firm’s market position is furthered strengthened through innovation.
The textile trendsetters derive their strategy from visionary ideas, said the CEO. The emphasis in designing interiors for show cars is on the value system of the enterprise and the orientation toward sustainability, setting standards for the use of renewable raw materials. Here, STRÄHLE+HESS is among the pioneers working to develop production cycles according to the cradle-to-cradle principle. In doing so they have proven that even the most elegant automobile interiors can be manufactured in environmentally sound production processes aimed at ecological effectiveness. “This is the only way to preserve an intact and economically functional system for coming generations”, as Schönharting said.
Textile safety devices are much in demand. Innovative ideas from STRÄHLE+HESS have contributed to this trend, making the enterprise a partner of choice for development in a wide range of fields. Textile safety straps built into cars and airplanes have passed even the most extreme crash tests. The creations of the design team stand for a shift in values toward a more humane world, away from the egotism of recent decades and with a higher awareness of traditional values and credibility.
At the same time, the driver should be able to enjoy his vehicle and to identify with it and its interior. Serving the trend toward variability and individuality is therefore an important aim.
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