Mar 03/21

Automotive Interior Trim: Materials, Types, and Processes

automotive interior trim


Trim is one of the most sought-after aspects of a vehicle- why else would manufacturers sell the same model of car with multiple different trim levels?

What are the types of automotive interior trim and how are they manufactured? Read on to learn!

Types of Automotive Interior Trim

Interior car trims are all of the parts of your vehicle that are more decorative than functional. Its primary purpose is to make the inside of the car into a comfortable and warm environment. Examples of trim may include a leather steering wheel, door lining, car roof lining decorations, seat trim, or a sun visor mirror.

The common denominator between all of these types of trim is that they’re aesthetically motivated. They do serve a practical purpose such as insulating your car to trap heat. Such as keeping hands from burning on the wheel from the sun or preventing the vehicle’s roof from water damage. However, most people consider them to be a more decorative aspect of your car that makes the interior flashy and modern.

The Top Automotive Trim Materials

Since there are so many items that qualify as interior trim, there are a wide variety of materials used. Some of the most common include:

  • Leather (steering wheel lining, seat coverings, glove compartment exteriors)
  • Vinyl and faux leather (cost-effective alternatives to leather that many manufacturers are using)
  • Fabric (the lining of your car ceiling, felt inside cup holders, fabric mats on the floor of your vehicle)
  • Suede (soft steering wheel covers, seat cushion exteriors)
  • Wood (to decorate linings and door panels)

How Are These Materials Manufactured?

Interior trim parts are extremely diverse and therefore are manufactured in many different ways. Professionals will come up with new ideas for trim parts and test principles before manufacturing. This ensures that each part has a certain level of functionality as well as aesthetic appeal.

From there, the materials that best suit the part will be gathered and molded into the appropriate shape. From two-shot injection molding to variable temperature molding, there are many different ways that small pieces can be inextricably molded together. Once that’s done, in-mold decoration will be applied and the piece will be allowed to cool.

Trim parts may be installed before sent to the dealer, but others are sold as aftermarket products. Therefore, simply needing to be installed in the vehicle to complete the process.

Get Started Servicing Your Vehicle

While there are a lot of parts that go into the functionality of your vehicle, trim is just as important in a different way. After all, no one wants to drive in a car that’s uncomfortable to sit in or uninsulated against extreme temperatures.

Contact us for a quote on how much it will cost to manufacture the automotive interior trim parts you need. We work with a variety of car manufacturers and are therefore happy to tailor your part to the specific vehicle that you are designing and manufacturing.