Innovations in lightweighting, advanced communications and better visibility dominated the 2020 Automotive News PACE Awards, which honoured 13 supplier winners, including Canada’s Magna International, in a ceremony delivered virtually on Tuesday.
Winning supplier innovations ranged from the design of a new integrated vehicle circuitry to the development of a lightweight cargo box for pickups. The program also named two PACE Innovation Partnership Award winners for technologies co-developed by an automaker and a supplier.
Magna Exteriors in Troy, Mich., which is a division of Magna International, won for its composite space frame.
The 2020 winners and their product or process innovations are:
- American Axle and Manufacturing Inc.: Electric driveline
- Continental Structural Plastics: CarbonPro pickup box
- Delphi Technologies: DiFlex integrated circuit
- Ejot Fastening Systems: Ejoweld friction element welding
- Gentex Corp.: Integrated toll module
- Lear Corp.: Xevo commerce and service platform
- Magna Exteriors: Composite space frame
- Marelli: H-Digi lighting module
- Mobileye: Road experience management system
- Schaeffler Technologies: Compact transmission for e-axle application
- Stoneridge Electronics: MirrorEye camera monitor system
- Tenneco Powertrain Division: IROX 2 bearing coating
- Valeo: XtraVue trailer
The winners of the 2020 Automotive News PACE Innovation Partnership Award are:
- General Motors for its partnership with Shape Corp. to develop a curved carbon fiber bumper;
- Jaguar Land Rover for its partnership with American Axle and Manufacturing to create an electric driveline.
The PACE Awards have now been awarded for 26 straight years to suppliers that have successfully commercialized new ideas in auto manufacturing.The winners were announced via video from Detroit, as the global auto industry is on a shutdown to help fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the months prior to the outbreak, independent judges for the PACE Awards traveled to finalists in North America, Europe and Asia to observe and validate their technologies.
The 2020 awards come at a moment of heightened awareness of the role played by automotive supply chains at solving the industry's looming challenges.
The PACE program captures the spirit of the "can-do culture" that moves the auto industry forward, said J Ferron, director of PACE judging.
"The tempo of innovation has quickened," Ferron said. "New materials, processes and business models are reshaping the industry's value chain."
That value creation is what will be required of a supplier "to be a leader and pull the global industry out of the current pandemic production crisis," he said.