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Ernst and Young Announce Pace Award Winners

24 February 1997

PACE Award Winners Announced at Gala Ceremony; Gentex, Dana Spicer, RDS, Bosch and Prince Honored for Innovation

   Governor Names February 23, 1997 'Automotive Suppliers Day' in Michigan

    DETROIT, Feb. 24 -- The winners of the 1997 Ernst &
Young/Automotive News PACE Awards were honored here last night at a gala
celebration of innovation in the automotive supply industry, co-sponsored by
Ernst & Young, L.L.P.
    Governor John Engler acknowledged the awards ceremony by declaring
February 23, 1997, "Automotive Suppliers Day" in Michigan, recognizing the
"outstanding accomplishments in quality, leadership, innovation and business
performance in the automotive supplier industry."
    The PACE (Premier Automotive suppliers Contributions to Excellence) Awards
ceremony, a major event co-sponsored by Ernst & Young and Automotive News
magazine held at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., was attended by
approximately 200 representatives of OEMs, automotive supply companies and
    The PACE program is dedicated to highlighting the enormous accomplishments
occurring within the automotive supply chain, which is a primary, yet often
overlooked driver of value within the industry.
    Each of the five winners received a citation representing a consensus of
the PACE judges' view of what makes each nomination outstanding.

    The Small Supplier category winner is Gentex Corporation, Automotive
Products Group, Zeeland Michigan.

    Judges' Citation

    Gentex, a 1995 PACE Award winner, has demonstrated again why it is an
automotive business leader.  Already the global leader in auto-dimming
interior rear-view mirrors, Gentex has come up with a proprietary coating that
makes possible for the first time the application of electrochromic technology
to the relatively larger exterior mirrors required by light trucks and sport
utility vehicles, while still being able to withstand the relatively greater
environmental stresses imposed on an exterior mirror.
    The Gentex Metal Reflector (GMR) proprietary coating, in solving the
specific problems presented by larger exterior mirrors, has created and served
a new market through superior performance and substantial cost savings that
are passed on to Tier One and OEM customers.  GMR has also been a key factor
in the development of exterior mirrors that use curved glass, as on the
passenger side mirrors in North America, or the wide-angle asperic mirrors
that are used in Europe and Japan.  GMR is now being used by Gentex in all of
its external auto-dimming product applications.
    Because of systematic and persistent exploration of new products and
market opportunities, Gentex has produced another innovation that is
profitable for the company and for its customers, and one which provides an
appeal and a substantial safety benefit for light truck and sport utility
vehicle users.  This merits the 1997 small company PACE Award.
    According to Lee Sage, Ernst & Young's national director of Automotive
Industry Services, "Gentex innovated and captured the market for interior
automatic dimming mirrors.  The company now expects to control the market for
exterior mirrors as well, demonstrating their continued industry leadership."

    One of two Medium Supplier Category PACE Award winners is the Spicer
Transmission Division of Dana Corporation, of Toledo, Ohio.

    Judges' Citation

    The Spicer Transmission Division of Dana Corporation is recognized and
receives a PACE Award from the judges for its innovation in developing and
first introducing an electronically controlled truck transmission that
automatically controls the shifting of the top two gears.  Auto Mate 2, for
Class 8 over-the-highway trucks, is not simply a one-off achievement, but is
integral to the Spicer Division's business strategy.  It was introduced with
the advantage of being compatible with most heavy duty truck engines.
    Auto Mate 2 provides a cost-effective solution to the problem it
addresses, by automatically controlling shifting of just the top two gears, on
cue from the engine's management control system.  Fuel mileage is improved
significantly, since shifts between the top two gears account for 90% of the
actual shifting in over-the-highway trucks.  The incremental costs of the
installed product can be justified under normal criteria used in the industry
by fuel savings alone.
    In addition to enabling improved consumption economics, Auto Mate 2
reduces fatigue and provides enhanced driver ergonomics and comfort, as well
as improved driver retention and an expanded driver applicant pool.
    Early market presentation of Auto Mate 2 has expanded the Spicer
Division's engineering capabilities and scope, and it is expected that this
innovation will influence truck transmission design and products well into the
    "The team approach fostered in the Spicer Transmission Division with
marketing managers, product developers, engineers and customers has helped to
apply existing technologies to product innovations that the market is
embracing," said William A. King, partner, Ernst & Young LLP Performance
Improvement practice.  "These efforts speak to the very core mission of the
PACE Award.

    The other Medium Supplier category PACE Award winner is Bosch Automotive
Motor Systems Corporation, of Farmington Hills, Mich.

    Judges' Citation

    It is one thing to have an award-winning idea, but it is a special
achievement when that idea and its implementation also speaks directly to
environmental waste concerns and the critical need -- now really an imperative
-- to recycle material involved in automotive components.
    Bosch Automotive, working with the Ford Motor Company on the one side, and
a key supplier, Wellman, Incorporated, on the other, has done just that.  When
Ford asked its suppliers for fresh ideas and creativity in obtaining 25% post-
consumer recycled material content (or 25% "PCR") in under-the-hood
components, Bosch came through.  Working closely with Wellman, the first part
made (25% PCR) from post-consumer nylon was designed and produced for the 1996
Ford Windstar minivan by Bosch.  The part is a dual fan shroud assembly.
    Displaying a total commitment to solving the customer's problem, Bosch was
particularly impressive for its expansion of needed technical resources by
partnering with Wellman, for chemical engineering and highly specialized
polymer know-how.  Ultimately, this allowed the extraction and use of
component-quality nylon form discarded nylon carpeting.
    Each part weighs just four pounds, but since July 1996, use of this
revised-content component has meant that carpeting discarded from the
equivalent of 1,300 homes has not been added to our landfills.
    This innovation also achieved, in the process of adding PCR content to the
1996 Ford Windstar, an important reduction in cost of the end product, all
without sacrificing quality or durability.
    This unique, multi-dimensional accomplishment by Bosch Automotive Systems,
working as a team with Wellman, Inc. and Ford, merits a 1997 PACE Award.
    "Bosch moved aggressively to work with Ford to produce a more
environmentally sound cooling fan," said Sage.  "Having the capabilities to
orchestrate such a process and create production value while improving upon
current specifications, indicates that Bosch is committed to excellence and
advancing their reputation as a leading automotive supplier."

    The Large Supplier Category winner is Prince Automotive Systems Division
of Johnson Controls, Inc., of Plymouth, Mich.

    Judges' Citation

    Creative market research by Prince suggested that consumers may feel
secure in their homes and in their cars, but may be somewhat less satisfied
with the security, and convenience, of the transition between car and home.
Prince's innovative HomeLink permits a seamless transition between car and
home, and more.
    HomeLink is a radio transceiver connected to the car's electrical bus, and
integrated into the visor or overhead console.  Only the buttons needed to
activate garage doors, security systems, locks, or lighting, are visible.  The
device can "learn" 99+% of all garage door opening signal codes produced over
the last 30 years, as well as handle newer "rolling code" algorithms.
HomeLink is protected by 19 patents developed at Prince.  Patent-protected
technologies endow the product with the ability to send and receive a broad
range of radio signals that can have numerous applications beyond opening
doors and turning on lights.
    Thus, Prince is not being recognized simply for a new device for opening
garage doors, but rather, for the innovative potential to expand the ways
consumers and commercial providers will be able to interact with the car and
between car and home.  HomeLink has the potential to assist in delivering
valuable information or "instructions" between car, home, and other locations,
and spawn new products created outside the automotive industry that will move
us toward a seamless connection between the car and its driver, and home or
other locations.
    In developing HomeLink, Prince has impressively grown its abilities to
partner with other companies in home access and security, as well as in other
industries; to administer direct consumer service; and to work with and
through car dealers as well as manufacturers.  At the same time HomeLink is
recognized, by name, at the consumer levels and by a growing list of
manufacturers, as adding value to the car in which it is installed.  Prince's
HomeLink merits a 1997 PACE Award as an innovation whose ultimate effects on
new products and lifestyle enhancements are just beginning.
    "What makes this product revolutionary is that an automotive interior
manufacturer, based on its own proprietary consumer research, aggressively
leaped into an overlapping consumer electronics segment to anticipate and
successfully meet an unfulfilled and important consumer need," said Sage.  "It
protects car owners from being victimized by stolen remote controls, or during
the time they have to stop and leave a vehicle to activate or deactivate a
home security system or other device.  This company invests heavily in
consumer research and then backs up its findings with new technology."

    The Service Company category winner is Rapid Design Services, Inc., of
Dayton, Ohio.

Judges' Citation

    Rapid Design Services, Inc., started as a local supplier of engineering
services for the Automotive Components Division of GM.  Theirs is a story of
innovation in the transformation of a service company.
    As ACD grew, so did RDS.  As ACD spread from chassis, to radiators, to
instrument panels, to electronics, so did RDS.  As ACD became Delphi
Automotive and began globalizing, RDS continued its support.  Then came Lopez.
Rather than submit to a reactive survival strategy, RDS took advantage of the
opportunity to introduce real change and instituted volume discounts in the
engineering services industry.  This was innovative because it had never been
done.  Now RDS's clients -- including many besides Delphi -- are saving
millions on an array of outsourced services.
    RDS is able to deliver many valuable local services globally because of
its three key information systems used in combination:  its global CAD network
encompasses every major CAD system in use today; its financial network is a
project-based accounting system which can be monitored by office, by client,
by country, and corporately; and its human resource system not only captures
skills of RDS's own 2,500 employees, but capabilities of thousands of
technical people worldwide who can be mobilized as required.  RDS has thus
rapidly grown its business beyond Delphi Automotive, to deliver services to
other automotive companies, and other sectors, including heavy equipment,
computers, appliances, furniture, medical supply, food processing, and
    Today Rapid Design Services not only offers product design and
manufacturing engineering services, but additional services, such as rapid
prototyping, competitive databases, plant layout and building design,
environmental, and even troubled supplier consulting.  RDS's innovative
transformation has not only redefined their industry, it has given them a
strategic leap ahead as a model engineering services firm.
    "Characteristics of agile systems, including service, include quick
response to the customer and flexibility through a robust and well-planned
processes, which lead to growth," said King.  "RDS provides a working model
for doing this."

     Ernst & Young excels in the areas of performance improvement, technology
enhancement, business advisory services, audit services, and tax services for
the automotive industry.  The firm has published innovative marketplace
reports, including "The 1995 PACE Findings Report," "The Car Company of the
Future" and the "International Quality Study."   Ernst & Young is a leading
professional services organization, located in 680 cities worldwide in over
100 countries.  Updates, thought-leadership and PACE Award information are
available on Ernst & Young's World Wide Web site,
    "Automotive News" is the world's leading automotive business publication.
It is read by executives and engineers of the world's automakers and
suppliers, as well as top dealership management.  Published weekly,
"Automotive News" focuses on the breaking news of the industry and covers
major trends in depth.  "Automotive News" is one of 28 publications of Crain
Communications, Inc., which also publishes "Advertising Age," "AutoWeek,"
business newsweeklies in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and New York, and
"Automotive News Europe."

SOURCE  Ernst & Young

CONTACT: Sean Dougherty, 212-704-4504, or Shelley Campbell, 212-704-4469,
both of Edelman Public Relations