PARIS - Valeo will introduce a new multi-function controller for body electronics later this year.
The French supplier is counting heavily on the new body controller. The market is booming for the little black boxes that house the switches for numerous electrical systems inside and outside the car.
Body controllers are replacing the electrical relays that used to control such functions as wipers, door locks, interior lighting, anti-pinch devices for side windows, remote control for ignition keys and alarm systems.
'When electronic security appeared, electronic devices were located in a single place with all the other electronic functions,' says Marc Chambon, Valeo electronics marketing manager.
In addition to the switching function, Valeo's next generation body controller will generate power for electrical devices.
This version is due to appear late this year.
'Today, 40 percent of vehicles are equipped with body controllers, but the figure will jump quickly to 80 percent,' says Chambon.
Valeo supplies controllers for the Renault Safrane and Laguna.
Most upper-medium and luxury class cars in Europe are now equipped with body controllers from other suppliers.