just-auto authors and correspondents

Matthew Beecham

Matthew BeechamBiography

Matthew is a freelancer with more than 18 years' experience of researching, writing and analysing market and technical trends in the global automotive components industry. Since 2000, he has served as an associate editor for just-auto.com, monitoring market and technical developments of a range of automotive component sectors from clutches to coatings, seating to shocks and wheels to wipers.

As a director of Auto Research Analysts Ltd, his custom research assignments have included working for AT Kearney, Belron, Bridgehead International, McKinsey, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Motorsport Industry Association, Motor Industry Research Association and the Economist Intelligence Unit. He has also written for magazines including Car Graphic (Japan), JAMA (Japan) and Automotive Engineer (UK). He was awarded a PhD in automotive technology transfer from Cranfield University.

Columns by Matthew Beecham


Beecham's Tech-Talk

Matthew Beecham interviews automotive component industry specialists to learn more about changing technologies and new innovations.

Articles by Matthew Beecham

Harman’s Golden Ears: Stefan Varga (left) and Greg SikoraThe science of sound - How Harman is striking a chord in the small car segment

11 July 2018

Designing and developing a car audio system for a certain model is a complex process. Hitting the right note in the small car segment is particularly challenging for acoustic engineers with lots of things to consider. Changing the seat material alone can alter the acoustics in an otherwise identical cabin. Audio specialist Harman has worked closely with Ford to develop a premium sound upgrade for the new Fiesta. To learn more, we spoke to Greg Sikora, Harman ‘Golden Ear’ and Senior Manager, Head of Acoustic Systems Engineering Europe, Car Audio, and Stefan Varga, Harman ‘Golden Ear’ and Senior System Engineer Acoustic, Car Audio at Harman International.

Uwe BehrendtMagna lifts the lid off the car roof systems market

9 July 2018

Magna covers the entire spectrum of vehicle roof systems. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews with tier one component suppliers, we caught up with Uwe Behrendt, Director Sales, Magna Closures & Magna Car Top Systems to discuss trends in sunroofs, convertibles, solar technology and alternative lightweight glazing.

Inside the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross: Chrome accents dotted around the cabin give it some glitz.Interior design and technology – Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

9 July 2018

The Suzuki SX4, a compact crossover developed jointly by Suzuki and Fiat, was launched in 2006. At the 2012 Paris motor show, Suzuki unveiled its S-Cross concept and broadcast that it would be a new model, not a replacement for the SX4. Six months later the SX4 S-Cross, loosely based on the S-Cross concept, appeared at the Geneva motor show and received a facelift in 2016. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we peer inside this small SUV to see what makes it shine in a crowded market.

Ford Edge cockpit: Spacious and well thought through with lots of kit to justify the price.Interior design and technology – Ford Edge

2 July 2018

The first generation Ford Edge, launched in 2006, was offered in four trim levels.  Its top-drawer Sport included an AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD/MP3 player and SYNC in-car connectivity system. Ford announced earlier this year that second generation Edge will get a mid-cycle facelift, featuring fresh interior colour combinations, a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system, SYNC 3 and a range of camera- and sensor-based driver assistance technologies. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside the ST-Line to see what else gives this facelifted model the Edge.

Andreas WlasakFaurecia VP on tomorrow’s cockpit and smart interiors

29 June 2018

The car - integral to the daily lives of millions of people – is being transformed into a living room on wheels. Motorists’ insatiable appetite for comfort and connectivity, all within a customised environment, is driving innovation. As a global leader in vehicle interiors, Faurecia is developing solutions that meet those desires. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews with tier one suppliers, we spoke to Andreas Wlasak, Vice-President Industrial Design at Faurecia Interiors.

Kia Niro PHEV’s feature-rich cabinInterior design and technology – Kia Niro PHEV

18 June 2018

Hybrid sales in the UK and mainland Europe have doubled over the past five years and are expected to reach 700,000 annually by the end of the decade. The Kia Niro – the Korean carmaker’s third plug-in hybrid (PHEV) after the Optima and Optima Sportswagon - slots into this blossoming market place. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we slip inside this compact crossover to see if this is just another small SUV or something different.

Nik EndrudFaurecia Seating on Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electrified

14 June 2018

Seats account for five per cent of a vehicle’s total cost and six per cent of its weight. As a result, they represent the second largest expense for automakers. Faurecia Seating is a leader in the design, development and manufacture of automotive seating. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews with tier 1 suppliers, we spoke to Nik Endrud, Vice President Strategy and Innovation at Faurecia Seating.

Volkhard WickYFAI on auto interior surfaces, natural fibres and personalisation functions

6 June 2018

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI), a joint venture between Yanfeng and Adient, is a pioneer in the development of new materials for vehicle interiors. With its activeSkin concept, for example, the company presents a vision of integrating intuitive controls into vehicle interiors, which blur the boundaries between the digital and analogue worlds. This new development concept enables the display of data on soft surfaces. YFAI expects that functional and decorative surfaces in vehicle interiors will increasingly merge in the future. To find out more about this trend and other innovations, we spoke to Volkhard Wick, Executive Director, Innovation and Product Management Europe & South Africa at YFAI.

Mike ClowryIAC on upscaling interiors and automated driving

5 June 2018

Designers are continually reinventing the interior to appeal to occupants of all shapes, sizes, ages, and cultures.  Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews with tier 1 suppliers, we spoke to Mike Clowry, Vice President Advanced Development & Materials Engineering, Europe, International Automotive Components (IAC) Group about the continually evolving car interior as we move closer to the age of autonomous driving. Headquartered in Luxembourg, IAC Group is a global supplier of automotive components and systems, including instrument panels, console systems, door panels, headliners and overhead systems to automakers around the world.

Honda CR-V has a versatile cabin with loads of luggage space.Interior design and technology – Honda CR-V

5 June 2018

When Honda launched its CR-V way back in the day (1997), its main rival was the Toyota RAV4. Fast forward two decades and the carmaker’s fourth generation model competes in a flooded market. Yet this practical, family-friendly car has become one of the most popular compact SUVs sold around the world. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside to see what makes it so appealing.

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