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Hyundai, Audi and Mercedes-Benz win the world's highest accolade in innovative car body engineering and production, the EuroCarBody Awards 2011

(PresseBox) (Hannover, ) From 18 to 20 October 2011, EuroCarBody, 13th Global Car Body Benchmarking Conference, gathered more than 540 car body engineering experts from 30 countries in Bad Nauheim, Germany, to compare and inspect 10 newly launched series car bodies, which, together with the corresponding complete vehicles, were presented in detail by their OEM developers. Both, the conference auditorium and the members of the International OEM Board of the conference evaluated all car bodies presented according to five technical categories (efficient development concept, effective material use and application, production efficiency, car-body-implied customer value and information content of the presentation). The ranking that resulted from this evaluation determined the winners of this year's EuroCarBody Awards, generally regarded as the highest accolade in car body engineering worldwide.

1st place for the new Hyundai i40

First-place winner of the EuroCarBody Awards 2011 is the new Hyundai i40, reaching 37.98 of 50 possible points. Taking part in the competition for the first time, the Korean team immediately convinced the audience with its new D-segment sedan and its production. The Hyundai i40 ranked first place in three of the five voting categories, namely in its production concept, customer value and the quality of the presentation itself. Its development concept and high-strength steel-based material-concept came in second place in the competition. In particular, it was the presentation of Hyundai's self-developed body shop production innovations that won the audience over: With extremely flexible locators, grippers, jigs and welding guns, the body shop in Ulsan, South Korea, allows for an extremely flexible and cost-effective production of a wide variety of models on a single production line.

2nd place for the new Audi A6

Reaching 35.86 points, the second place in this year's EuroCarBody Awards ranking was awarded to the car body of the new Audi A6. Audi's new premium segment executive sedan, now in its 7th generation and produced on the company's new modular length platform (MLP) for the first time, particularly impressed the delegates with its highly innovative aluminum-steel-hybrid material concept. It features an increased use of ultra-high strength, press hardened steels (11.3 %), including tailored tempered parts, and of aluminum (18%) in a variety of applications. Together with specific constructive innovations in a number of car body parts, this allowed for a weight saving in the car body of 30kg, compared to its predecessor, while increasing its static torsion by 15% at the same time.

3rd place for the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Mercedes-Benz' B-Class, the company's new C-segment compact van, reached the third rank in this year's EuroCarBody Awards, scoring 34.66 points. The car body, presented in its second generation, features a significantly increased use of advanced high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels as well as an aluminum hood, reaching a weight reduction of 10.5kg over its predecessor despite a considerable increase in dimension. However, the car body, which is produced in Rastatt, Germany, and Kecskemèt, Hungary, scored particularly high in its production concept, which even ranked second place in the competition, again featuring very flexible and efficient processes in both body shop and paint shop.

The EuroCarBody results 2011 at a glance:

Rank / Series car body / Points
1 / Hyundai i40 / 37.98
2 / Audi A6 / 35.86
3 / Mercedes-Benz B-Class / 34.66

Further to these three award-winning car bodies, the following new car body developments were presented, discussed and evaluated at the EuroCarBody 2011 (in alphabetical order):
- BMW 1 Series
- Ford Focus
- Mazda CX-5
- Nissan LEAF
- Opel Zafira
- Range Rover Evoque
- Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

About the EuroCarBody conference

The annual EuroCarBody conference is the largest car body benchmarking conference worldwide. It features presentations of the latest series car bodies from Europe, North America and Asia and also bestowes the highest accolade in innovative car body engineering and production, the EuroCarBody Award. EuroCarBody is organised by the Automotive Circle International, the leading communication platform for the OEM and the suppliers industry.

The next EuroCarBody conference will take place from 16 to 18 October 2012 again in Bad Nauheim, Germany. As conference places are limited, early registration for the upcoming event is highly recommended. The conference programme 2012 will be published in June 2012.