There’s a lot of hand-wringing in the media about the economic slowdown in China, but it remains a haven for conspicuous consumption.
Ford, for example, has developed an iPad tablet holder that can be mounted on the back of a chauffer’s seat. It will only be available in China. The holder can be folded for stowage or removed by sliding a button. If the tablet holder is removed, another 12-volt powered product, such as a fan or dehumidifier, can be quickly installed.
This is all just for the back seat, mind you.
“In China, the rear seat of the manager’s car is his mobile office, and for us the iPad holder is the key to enable innovation,” says Alan G. Dry of Ford, a long-time inventor of interior vehicle components made of plastic.
The device is available on the 2016 Ford Taurus sold in China. It’s the first Taurus sold in China, and was introduced earlier this year at the Shanghai Auto Show. Ford executives said that it was “designed specifically to meet the needs of the Chinese market.”
Apple products are hugely popular in China. The company yesterday reported that China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) generated revenues of $12.5 billion in the third quarter, double the year-earlier level.
Some aftermarket tablet holders are available from third-party suppliers, but this is the first time an OEM specially designed a tablet holder for a new car. Importantly, the new Ford tablet meets head impact and other safety standards. Ford has submitted four patents for the invention.
BASF supplied impact-modified glass fiber-reinforced polyamide (nylon) for the structural shell and DuPont supplied polyacetal used for internal components. The parts are injection molded.