At Thule, they don't just make products, they make products better. The company's team has shared passions with the customers and understands the active lifestyle. Which is why Thule's eye is always on innovation and finding ways of creating new technologies and design solutions that solve particular problems. From making a product easier to use, to taking the hassle out of transporting gear, to reducing stress, their goal is to continuously create better products and better experience for our customers.
They know the products are going to be out in the elements getting pounded on, and many of them will live permanently on the vehicle. That's why the company takes care over the materials they spec and the designs they choose. Everything is taken into consideration to construct products that will last. And all Thule products are built to last, with lifetime warranties.
You can always recognize a Thule product by its perfect fit, simple mounting and ease of loading. But the design goes beyond safety and function. Thule products follow a consistent design language. Instead of following extreme trends and short-lived fashions, they stick to refined and stylish shapes that harmonize with the design of your car - setting the standard for the industry. The design process embraces the importance of a clean aesthetic to provide a product that enhances the lines of your vehicle and design of your gear; a final look that's not only functional, but also beautiful.
Because everything Thule does is based on making life easier, they make sure all aspects of production work together. Beginning with design, every step of the process receives the same high degree of attention by dedicated experts. Their innovations and designs go through research and development, and fitting and testing to make sure they deliver the safest, most durable product that makes your life easier and complements the look of your vehicle.
Creating smart solutions means spending a lot of time on research and development. Thule product managers continuously conduct consumer research to investigate potential new designs and how to improve existing ones. This includes focus groups, warranty and claims studies, surveys and interviews with active lifestyle enthusiasts. Direct feedback from consumers helps Thule develop and refine its designs and technologies to directly benefit the consumer.
Thule constantly maintains a 3-year product plan into the future that determines which categories and products to address. With more than 500 current patents, they are at the forefront of exclusive developments that set the industry standard.
Thule products are designed to last, which is why they closely monitor warranties and claims. Their warranty claims specialists review user issues as well as any kind of claims that involve property loss or damage to determine which issues currently need attention and which have been resolved. They also monitor the feedback in order to gain insight on how to make instructions and designs more user-friendly.
Once a design has been properly researched and approved for development, a list of deliverables is created, and the product manager and engineer work together to provide an actual concept and prototype. A lot of time is spent analyzing the design and specified materials to make sure that form follows function - and the design works optimally. An FEA (Finite Element Analysis) is conducted through computer simulation to identify any weak links. Only after it has passed that test, does it proceed to the Quality Test Center where it undergoes aggressive testing to determine how the components and design will fare in real circumstances – even more extreme than typical use.
Philosophy of the company's smart solutions is that Thule must make it as easy to fit their racks to your vehicle as it will be to load or unload your gear once it's on. From the instructions to installation to use, the fit process takes the measurements of your vehicle and provides you with a fit kit that gives your solution the perfect fit to your vehicle. So you can quickly and easily set up and get your gear where you want it to be.
Thule Fit Engineers develop specific solutions for the specific areas where their products can be installed on your car. They also create innovative solutions for securing your treasured gear. Right down to the straps and ratchet ropes, everything is calculated specifically for each individual vehicle to ensure the safest, most secure fit possible.
Thule has developed a unique relationship with the world's top vehicle manufacturers. This connection gives them access to specific feedback on how to design products that are more compatible and easier to install on today's vehicles. It also enables them to suggest particular fixed-point distances and standard features that allow for even more precise fit of Thule products.