DETROIT – Johnson Controls Inc. introduces its Point Trip Information System and announces new customers for recently launched interior products at the North American International Auto Show.

JCI teams up with Navigation Systems Corp. to develop Point, a system that uses global-positioning-system technology to convey basic trip and point-of-interest data.

The information is not as complete as with a full-fledged navigation system, but simplicity and affordability are the system’s selling points. It also can be installed without major modification to a vehicle’s electrical system, JCI says.

Point concentrates on directional and gas, food and lodging information, which it conveys in the headliner-mounted message center. It also gives address and cross-street location information.

The system is not yet in production, and JCI would not disclose its customers.

The supplier was eager, however, to discuss customers when it came to other new products. JCI announced the supply of a number of interior components to General Motors Corp. for the auto maker’s ’05 “crossover sport vans” (CSVs): the Buick Terraza, Saturn Relay, Chevrolet Uplander and Pontiac Montana SV6. (See related story: GM Debuts Saturn Relay, Buick Terraza Minivans)

Among these systems is JCI’s Railport Vehicle Personalization System, which until now only has appeared on the ’04 Ford F-150. Railport is a ceiling-mounted system on which features such as an LCD screen or sunglasses holder can be mounted.

GMC Canyon among first GM vehicles to use Johnson Controls' instrument-cluster program.

For the GM CSVs, the system will incorporate JCI’s AutoVision DVD Family Grade Entertainment System as a rail module.

Expect JCI to announce another Railport customer soon, the supplier says.

Seating systems, overhead systems and sun visors also are part of the contract.

The systems will be shipped just in time from JCI’s Suwanee and Norcross, GA, and Holland, MI, facilities to GM’s Doraville, GA, plant.

JCI also reports progress in its instrument-cluster program, which it began in October 2001 when it acquired Sagem SA’s automotive electronics business.

Since then, it has sold seven cluster programs for domestic auto makers in North America for future model years. The first appeared on the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups, introduced last fall.

kzachary@primediabusiness.com