By Liz White, UT staffSouthfield, Michigan-Interiors suppler Lear Corp. is keen to put across its green credentials: "Consumer demand for more environmentally responsible vehicles is growing, the group said in a 3 April announcement. Lear said it promotes 'green' manufacturing in its plants, working "closely with automakers and suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of its products." One example Lear gives here is its soybean oil-based polyurethane foam, which it said helps eliminate dependency on petroleum. This foam can be used in headrests, armrests, and seating cushion systems. Another Lear development is its FabFoam seat concept, which combines durable polyurethane skin and flexible foam in "a trim- and fabric-less seat." Lear claims this is an "environmentally friendly process" which also offers styling flexibility. The surface finish can have dynamic colours, textures and gloss, Lear said. In another press release, Lear also highlighted Spray PUR as one of the developments in automotive interior surfaces which allows car makers to differentiate their offerings as high quality. "Regardless of how well a car is engineered, if the fit and finish doesn't match or any of the components look inexpensive, consumers believe that the entire vehicle is lacking in quality," said Lear. This trend means consumers are focussing more attention on "look and feel," spurring automaker to focus on interior quality and craftsmanship.Developments such as spray polyurethane and two-shot moulding give improved craftsmanship, design flexibility and reliability for automakers, Lear said. In spray PUR the polyurethane is sprayed over a tool for a soft-skin automotive part. The benefits are improved craftsmanship, with superior grain definition and low gloss, as well as a softer touch and multi-tone option. said Lear. The finish also offers excellence performance/durability and scratch resistance, the interiors supplier added. "