I don't know if this is completely relevant - but a few years back Seymour Powell tried to redesign the relatively complex airline seat:http://www.designcouncil.info/betterbyd ... lenge.html
If you want to look at automotive seats, Renault concepts have traditionally been very much simplified - at least in the last 10 years or so (even though it never makes it to production).
Personally, I have worked on projects where we've proposed using materials from product design to produce stripped down seating with comfort derived more from shape than material.
I think there's plenty of potential here - but more on the low end of vehicle design. Expectations of comfort and finish are very rigid at the high end.