The BMW Group has presented the international automotive supplier Brose with the "Supplier Innovation Award 2011" for the development of the so-called "Smart Opener" - a system for the touch-free opening and closing of liftgates. Brose was one of only nine nominees selected from more than 800 BMW suppliers for this prize. Jürgen Otto, CEO of the Brose Group, accepted the award in Munich on November 7th.
"This is a fantastic success for our team and demonstrates our high level of expertise in development and great innovative strength," says a delighted Jürgen Otto. "Our relationship with BMW spans many decades and has seen numerous Brose innovations used in BMW models; for example the first power window regulator which was fitted into the legendary BMW Roadster C3200 in 1963. In the future, various BMW models will be equipped with the "Smart Opener" and it has great potential for numerous other automotive applications," continued Jürgen Otto.
Dr. Herbert Diess, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network, stated during the event: "Our suppliers are very important partners for us in the development of new innovations. They make a vital contribution to the success of the BMW Group." Dr. Klaus Draeger, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development emphasized: "Nowadays, innovations have to be realized faster; they need to be more focused and above all, much more tangible for customers.
The automotive supplier met these requirements with its new mechatronic system, the "Smart Opener", allowing the touch-free operation of the liftgate. As long as the key is in the driver's pocket, all that is required is a simple foot movement below the bumper and the liftgate opens automatically.
BMW presents the "Supplier Innovation Award" in a total of nine categories: Efficient Dynamics, Lightweight Construction, Connected Drive, New Technology Experience, Maximum Customer Benefit, Quality, Productivity, Sustainability as well as Innovation New Business Model (special prize).
The Brose Group currently employs some 20,000 people in 23 countries. More than 2,000 engineers and technicians are engaged worldwide in the continuous development of products and processes. With 250 patents per year, the Brose Group ranks among the top 50 companies that file patents in Germany. Each year some eight percent of the turnover goes into development.