Webasto Welcome 2 Concept
- Supplier exhibits its own concept car at IAA - Competence on wheels - Large roof openings set the trend -World premiere for PanAirama roof - Variable-use luggage area - Webasto responds to the increasing individuality of customers
Stockdorf/München. – Webasto, the international supplier to the automobile industry, is making a confident showing at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt (IAA). Following its first concept car, called the “Welcome” (which stands for Well-being, Comfort and Emotion), this year the company introduces the Welcome 2. Franz-Josef Kortüm, Chairman of Webasto AG, says, “Products that are centrally incorporated in the design of the car, such as roof systems, and in particular panorama roofs, are best presented in a concept car. This Multi Sport Coupe draws particular attention to the PanAirama roof, a world first. This development reflects our customers' wishes for large roof solutions, not only in America, but across the world.”
The reference to America is of course a conscious one. Webasto wants to make a certain reference to its most important foreign market with the design of its concept car. As Franz-Josef Kortüm says, “Next year we will have been successfully engaged in the USA for 30 years. Our success is based on the consistent implementation of customers' wishes, especially in relation to design, which is of particular importance there.”
The concept car is not a new vehicle, but is based on a Mercedes CL 500. Designed by Webasto in Stockdorf, implemented by Studio D 3 in Paris. It was this partner that helped us to produce the first Welcome in 2001.
The PanAirama roof, which is being shown for the first time, is a logical development of the panorama roof. The size of these “sunroofs” means they provide more light than ordinary sunroofs. When open, they even give you the feeling that you are in a convertible. The new PanAirama roof goes one step further: when the large glass roof is open, the side columns (above the doors) can be moved to the centre. When the side columns are then lowered, you get a driving experience that is very close to driving a convertible.
Webasto is also increasing its successful efforts for more comfort in the vehicle in the complex area of loading and the variable use of the boot space, in short, cargo management. Telescopic loading systems are an example of the sort of comfort product that is available for various types of vehicle.
In the Welcome 2, the tilted tailgate not only extends the storage space, but can also be lowered at the touch of a button to aid loading. So there’s no need to worry any more about loading heavy items up to 70 kg in weight. Raised to the level of the loading area, your luggage can then be moved into the aluminium lamella-covered trunk using a slide loading system similar to a conveyor belt. Unlike traditional solutions with a fixed trunk cover, here the aluminium lamellas can be folded into the back of the rear seats, providing an open loading area.
The easily attachable and removable luggage carrier with integrated straps helps you transport bulky items, such as surfboards.
Franz-Josef Kortüm on the general concept of the Welcome 2: “We had a good response to the Welcome 1 from customers around the world. More than half the products we showed then have since gone into production, and intensive negotiations are underway for over thirty per cent of the products. In the Welcome 2, we are hoping for a lot of attention at trade shows and of course from our customers. We also intend exhibiting our Multi Sport Coupe separately. We are keen to see the reaction to it.”