Donnelly Corporation Technology Drives Latest GM Innovation
20 July 1999Donnelly Corporation Technology Drives Latest GM Innovation
HOLLAND, Mich., July 20 -- With the announcement of a new technology that will automatically open a trunk lid to free people who may be trapped inside, General Motors earned broad, favorable reactions from consumers and automotive safety experts alike. What most people don't know is that the technology used to power that feature was designed -- and will be produced -- by Holland-based Donnelly Corporation . Donnelly's SmartRelease(TM) trunk release system uses advanced electronic sensors to detect heat and motion, and automatically open the trunk if it senses a person trapped inside. The SmartRelease(TM) will debut on the mid- year 2000 Chevrolet Impala. This technology marks an evolution in the auto industry's efforts to make vehicles a safer environment. The SmartRelease(TM) system is more sophisticated than the manual emergency trunk release handles that Donnelly developed and currently supplies to automakers. The electronic sensors require very little movement on the part of a person trapped in a trunk to activate. "We take great pride in introducing this kind of safety product to the market," said Dwane Baumgardner, chairman and chief executive officer. "Donnelly is one of the auto industry's pioneers in introducing safety features, with a history dating back to the introduction of dimmable rearview mirrors. Our technologies build value for our company, for our customers and for the families that will ultimately use these products." Donnelly has developed various advanced electronic sensing technologies for detecting a person's presence in a vehicle. Donnelly Electronics, a joint venture, has fine-tuned the design for use in the SmartRelease(TM) system. Donnelly's production of the SmartRelease(TM) is scheduled to begin in January, with the first sensor-equipped vehicles expected to be available early to mid-year 2000. Donnelly, a four-time GM Supplier of the Year, also manufactures the manual trunk release handle available at GM dealerships. Donnelly Corporation is an international automotive supplier dedicated to serving customers around the globe with industry-leading components and systems in automotive mirrors, windows and door handles. Through its various product lines, Donnelly is a supplier to every major automotive manufacturer in the world. The company has been based in Holland, Michigan, since 1905, and today has approximately 5,500 employees in 12 countries worldwide. In addition, Donnelly is nationally recognized as a leader in the application of participative management principles and systems.