Actually it is a pretty neat process designed to help auto manufacturers churn out more cost-effective, better-looking interiors. The idea comes from the Visteon Corporation and uses heat and vacuum pressure to put a "skin" on the dashboard. The skin is heated a drawn into a tool that shapes it to fit the dashboard and imprints grain and any lettering that may there with vacuum pressure. Once that is complete, the panel is cooled and ready for installation. Benefits of the process are many including a seamless passenger-side airbag opening. The airbag can deploy from inside the dash, removing the need for a separate panel and gaps that may go with it. It is very light and provides a consistent grain and clean lettering that exudes perceived quality. The picture is of the 2005 Renault Modus that uses the process on its dash panels.
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