The car of the future is closer than you think, and the inevitable shift towards autonomous vehicles creates a significant disruptive change for traditional automotive players.
Traditional automotive parts such as instrument panels, door panels and floor consoles are non-existent in the concept cars being designed and demoed, causing manufacturers to shift from their primary businesses of today. These vehicles feature smart technology surfaces of all materials, and automotive suppliers such as Yanfeng are working to stay ahead of the curve and develop their own versions.
The shift toward shared autonomous vehicles, where users face away from the road and perhaps toward each other points to an additional disruption for the automotive industry. Research suggests a trend away from car ownership, with consumers opting for the convenience of hailing a "robo-taxi" and enjoying the ride.
Anticipating and creating the ultimate user experience is of foremost importance to Yanfeng Automotive's Jeff Stout. He joins us to expand our horizons on mobility and the cars of the future, and how the auto industry is bringing us along for the ride.
About Jeff Stout
Jeff Stout is Executive Director, Research, Technology and New Mobility - North America for Yanfeng Automotive Interiors. In this role, he leads a 31-person advanced development team, responsible for product and process innovation; new mobility development; and product management. He also helped establish Yanfeng Automotive Interiors' new Mobility X Innovation Center in Sunnyvale, California. He was named to this role in 2017.
Prior to this position, he was Director of Product Management for four years. (In July 2015, Johnson Controls and Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems formed a joint venture for the interiors business of both companies called Yanfeng Automotive Interiors). At Johnson Controls, he held a variety of leadership roles of increasing responsibility in Engineering and Innovation, including an expat assignment leading all new interiors launches in China for Johnson Controls' joint venture with FAW. Stout joined Johnson Controls in 1994 as a Product Engineer.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Calvin College. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering Leadership.
Stout is active in the leadership at his local church. He also started an inner-city housing development initiative in Grand Rapids.