Magna International Inc. has been selected as a 2016 Automotive News PACE Award winner for its SmartLatch electronic side-door latch system.
This is the company’s fourth PACE Award in the last six years.
“Our thanks to the judges for recognizing SmartLatch with a PACE Award,” said John O’Hara, president of Magna Closures. “Development of the industry’s first electronic side-door latch demonstrates our commitment to innovation and should reinforce our leading global market position in automotive latching systems.”
SmartLatch represents a new paradigm for side-door latches by operating 100% electronically, with no cables, rods or moving handles in the door. The industry-first application of the latch was on the BMW i8, with the system launching soon on a new luxury sedan. Over the next few model years, SmartLatch will launch on a number of additional programs with other customers.
Key benefits of SmartLatch to automakers include weight savings compared to mechanical latches, a reduced number of components, the flexibility to be used in any type of car or truck, as well as improved safety, sound quality and vehicle styling. As a result of the elimination of the lock rods, release cables and handles, SmartLatch provides a lower-cost door latching system to global automakers.
“We continually strive to deliver smarter products to our customers, which can enhance the comfort and convenience of the person driving the vehicle,” said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna’s chief technology officer. “SmartLatch is a great example of the innovation strategy, forward thinking and growth opportunities we are capitalizing on because of our competitive position in the global marketplace.”
The Automotive News PACE Awards celebrate the innovations and achievements of automotive suppliers in moving the industry forward. PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence) winners were announced at the 22nd annual awards ceremony on April 11, 2016, in Detroit, Michigan.