Inventive thinking influences premium car seat base

Yes, there is such a thing as an elegant, easy-to-use, top-of-the-line car seat base. And Dorel Juvenile’s got it. The Indiana-based organization is the world’s leading juvenile products company.  And when the company was looking to align its brand across continents, incorporate key safety features from its European offerings and make installing its car seat base as close to effortless as possible, it approached Design Central. We were the right team for the job, as we had an established relationship with Dorel and a unique understanding of its needs and constraints. This served us well as we designed, engineered and refined the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus car seat base, now part of the company’s lead premium products in the U.S.

Client
  • Dorel Juvenile Group Inc. (A Division of Dorel Industries Inc.)
Industry
  • Consumer
Capabilities
  • Product Design
  • Engineering
  • Prototyping

Objective: Develop a premium, elegant, easy-to-install car seat base with key safety features for Dorel’s Maxi-Cosi line in the U.S.

Leveling up the U.S. Maxi-Cosi car seat base offering

An established European brand, Maxi-Cosi has a strong presence, marked by a stylish and sleek Visual Brand Language (VBL), across the pond. Dorel wanted to bring that elevated look, as well as some of its European safety features, to its car seat base in the U.S. Design Central’s task was to work through what that meant for the product in terms of its materials, comfort, style and, of course, function. Notably, Dorel’s wish to incorporate an anti-rotation stability leg, which significantly reduces movement to protect a baby’s neck and head, would make it the first U.S. Dorel car seat base to offer that feature. And ultimately, our established relationship with the client helped us to quickly and efficiently design an elegant form that stands apart.

Refining key features to deliver on premium experience

While working through the feel and function of those key features, our team put heavy focus on the stability leg. It needed to work seamlessly with the Maxi-Cosi car seat, with a similar cost to produce as its European counterpart. Some seat bases didn’t allow for the leg to be stowed away, making them awkward to place anywhere but the car itself, so we engineered that capability. We also added one-handed and easily released mechanisms on the foot level adjustment as well as the stability leg. More mechanical work went into perfecting the red-to-green level indicator, which lets the consumer know when the base has been accurately installed. With the one-click LATCH system and integrated belt lock-offs, the base is easily positioned and fastened in place. Once each detail was perfected, we passed along preliminary engineering so Dorel could move toward production.

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