The Strategic Importance of Car Latches

By Eric Grange | January 22, 2018

At C&K, we’ve learned to find beauty within the details of a design. Our switches often have the immense responsibility of acting as the first touchpoint a customer has with a product – and that’s especially true with automobiles. Just think about it: you’re buying a car on the lot, a model catches your eye, you walk around the vehicle once and then…you open the door. Luxury automobile manufacturers like Lamborghini and Lotus understand the importance of the door in demonstrating quality and have created iconic designs. 

Modern automobiles are undergoing a radical electrification and the door latch system has received a significant makeover. E-latches have now become the industry norm and the customer expectation. 

The removal of the mechanical cable necessitates a switch that is reliable and ISO 26262-compliant, because failures within this application would be disastrous. We have seen many of the global automakers we work with select our KSC DCT tact switch because it works well within confined spaces and presents a simple interface for the user. For safety’s sake, the switch can identify if the channel is open, flag the issue to the internal CPU and ensure the latch stays closed to prevent the door from opening at an inopportune time. 

Despite being more complex, e-latches also have aesthetic benefits. Manufacturers can utilize a variety of configurations such as non-moving and one-touch designs that can create a “Wow!” moment from customers. C&K switches enable a more modular approach to latches that give designers the flexibility to play with hand hold spaces to create a user-friendly latch. 

The hyper-competitive automobile industry relies on strong connections with their customers. Taglines like “The Joy of Driving,” “How Alive Are You?” and “The Things We Make, Make Us” demonstrate that vehicles are about much more than simply driving from one destination to another. It’s important that manufacturers understand the value of each part of the vehicle and take the appropriate care to create jaw-dropping, customer loyalty-inducing moments throughout the driving experience. 

That journey starts at the door.

Eric Grange
Global Segment Manager