Lear Corp. opens world-class Innovation Center in Detroit

Lear Corp. opens world-class Innovation Center in Detroit

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Leading global supplier of advanced automotive seating and electrical systems, Lear Corp. opened a world-class Innovation Center today in downtown Detroit located at 119 State Street in historic Capitol Park, the company said in a press release.

The center, housed in a 129-year-old former cigar factory that Lear bought and refurbished for US$ 10 million, will serve as a design center and technology incubator.

With production facilities in 19 Mexican cities that provide jobs to over 45,000 workers, the company is the 10th largest supplier according to the Automotive News global suppliers list, with sales of US$ 18.2 billion last year. 

During the ceremony, CEO Matt Simoncini said the new design and innovation center will give the company an advantage as a supplier and designer.

“For me this is a competitive advantage recognizing this trend in design and creativity that’s happening right here in Detroit,” said Simoncini, a Detroit native.

He said Lear will use the center to work on advance concepts for vehicles three to seven years away from production. Design and development of production projects will continue at Lear’s nearby Southfield, Michigan, headquarters and other development centers around the world.

Planned as a hub for art, creativity, automotive advanced concept development and hands-on learning for Detroit college students, the building at 119 State Street will serve multiple purposes including focusing on innovation and design, inside and outside the automotive industry; working closely with nearby WSU and CCS; and supporting community organizations.

Simoncini said advanced seating design and applications for vehicle-to-vehicle communications and hybrid electric vehicles will be at the root of the site.