In the same way the famous artists like Monet, Cezanne and Picasso put their indelible stamp on their creative works, the automotive artists at the specialty shops of Shelby, Roush and Saleen create stunning designs that are quickly identifiable as ultimate super cars and instant classics.
The folks at Katzkin Automotive Leather are thrilled to have recently announced that the company is making its own mark by partnering with those three world-famous automakers. The aftermarket leather company will produce a line of model-specific leather interiors with designs that complement and enhance the overall attraction feel of the vehicles.
“These are three of the most notable specialty car builders in the U.S. with very strong brand identities,” said Dave O’Connell, chief designer for Katzkin. “That’s why this is very exciting for us because it speaks to our corporate mantra of personalization and customization.”
While Katzkin has had a relationship with Shelby for years, it just recently became the supplier of custom interiors to Roush and Saleen, giving the company a strong footing within the boutique super car market. The resulting partnership enables Katzkin to carry the stunning exterior design of these vehicles into the cabin where the driver can see, smell and feel that same style, quality and craftsmanship throughout the driving experience, according to the company.
“We can create a design that is the best fit for the product,” O’Connell said. “It’s really an expectation from the customer. So much time is spent on the exterior design of these cars and we now are able to carry that design inside as well. We like to emphasize the wow factor of the car and keep the excitement rolling when you open the door. It really completes the car.”
Just like the vehicles themselves, Katzkin’s designs for these boutique brands tend to stretch the limits of conventional leather interiors, with out-of-the-box thinking that provides a truly unique look to the car. For example, the new interior design for the Shelby Mustang seats include a combination of Tuscany leather, black suede and carbon fiber to give the seats a multi-dimensional look.
“Roush, Shelby and Saleen are all about the design. It’s a very collaborative process with these brands because we get some design ideas from them, then send back some ideas of our own and that makes it fun,” O’Connell said. “In the end we get something that is really exciting and more expressive.”
David Giddings, vice president of marketing for Katzkin, points out that with the company’s reputation for producing high-quality products with a very quick turnaround time of 24 to 48 hours makes it a perfect fit for restylers and dealers of new and used vehicles, as well as boutique brands.
“Our time to market is almost insane,” Giddings said. “We are very much a well-oiled machine and our product development cycle is much smaller than those at the OEM level. We can create a design and make a pattern in several weeks versus several years for the big companies.”
The Katzkin designs created for the super cars are also available to regular car owners.
“It really makes great business sense for us in many ways,” Giddings said. “With our just-in-time production process, we can take all these designs that we are creating for the top tier brands and turn them around to be produced as interiors for other customers. It can really transform the vehicle into something very exciting.”
The end result of this creative design work is available to consumers through Katzkin’s unique online configurator that allows restylers and dealers to walk the customer through the ideas available for their specific vehicle. Once the design is decided and ordered, the interior is cut and sewed and shipped to the installer in 24 to 48 hours. The result is a vehicle that has been transformed into something uniquely its own, just like a work of art.