Detroit Motor Show Offers Opportunities - Success through Innovation

Detroit, (PresseBox) - .
- Intensive collaboration with U.S. manufacturers
- Optimization of energy efficiency offers opportunities for growth
- Schaeffler expects North American market to recover in the medium term
- "Innovation of the Year 2009" soon to be manufactured also in Cheraw/South Carolina

The Schaeffler Group continues to count on the North American market for further successful business development. "North America is the world's largest auto market and it will undergo strong development impetus as a result of the growing importance of new, energyefficient drive concepts. This will offer growth opportunities to innovative suppliers," Dr. Juergen M. Geissinger, Schaeffler Group President and CEO, said at the Detroit Motor Show. "This is why we have come to Detroit to present our latest products."

The current consolidation and reorientation of U.S. automakers will make a great contribution to the development of modern and resourcesaving power transmission technology. One example is the trend towards downsized systems where modern, highly efficient engines with a reduced number of cylinders and small cubic capacity replace the six and V8 cylinder engines that used to be favored in North America until now. Key technologies for successful downsizing include, for example, valve train components and camshaft phasing units are developed and supplied by the Schaeffler Group to a considerable degree. This technology from Schaeffler is used, for instance, in the modern EcoBoost engines from Ford. The fact that Ford relies on quality supplied by the Schaeffler Group is corroborated by the "Supplier of the Year" award received in South America recently.

Chrysler is one of the companies following the downsizing trend. In addition to optimizing its existing engines, Chrysler also plans to use the UniAir/MultiAir technology that was first introduced at Alfa Romeo and Fiat in 2009. This is the world's first fully variable electrohydraulic valve control system, developed jointly by Schaeffler and Fiat. The fully variable valve control system enables significant reductions in fuel consumption and emissions of up to 25 percent, whilst improving the performance and power output at the same time. This makes UniAir/MultiAir an appropriate response to the ever more stringent regulations concerning reductions in emissions and fuel consumption, also for the U.S. market. Manufactured by the Schaeffler Group exclusively, the fully variable valve control system recently received recognition by a jury of auto journalists as "Innovation of the Year". Furthermore, the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) presented its "Outstanding Technology Award 2009" to the Schaeffler Group which was also largely attributable to this innovation. While 4cylinder MultiAir engines have already been introduced in the market, further engine families (2 and 6cylinder gasoline and diesel engines) will also be equipped with this groundbreaking technology in the near future. The Schaeffler Group is responding to the increasing demand volume by expanding its production capacities. In addition to increased capacities at the German plants, UniAir/MultiAir will in the future also be manufactured in Cheraw, one of the Schaeffler locations in the U.S. state of South Carolina.

"The Schaeffler Group - with its brands INA, LuK and FAG - offers a wide range of innovative solutions for reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions," emphasized Dr. Geissinger. The recently introduced "CO2ncept-10%" is a good example of how innovative detailed work can enable significant efficiency increases. Based on the Porsche Cayenne S with V8 engine, this vehicle demonstrates how the installation of optimized drive train and chassis components can help to achieve a ten percent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. "In addition to the proven cylinder deactivation system, used for example in Hemi-V8 engines, the optimization measures incorporated in the "CO2ncept-10%" are also suitable for use in numerous SUV and light trucks."

With more than 1,250 patents a year, the Schaeffler Group is one of the innovation leaders in Germany. Thanks to its innovative strength and operational excellence, the Schaeffler Group has performed well during the global economic crisis with an operating business in the black. "It seems as though the market bottomed out in the second quarter of 2009," said Dr. Geissinger. The various public support measures as well as the positive impulses from Asia and South America had a stimulating effect on the market. Business in North America was also picking up, according to the CEO.

"However, economic risks still remain. Therefore we must continue to be on the alert, advance our innovations and keep a close eye on the market," said Dr. Geissinger, damping down premature euphoria. "But if we demonstrate the special qualities that have characterized the Schaeffler Group during the past decades, if we act with determination, earlier and faster than others, then I'm convinced that the Schaeffler Group has potential for growth and will be able to seize its market opportunities."

In the USA, the Schaeffler Group operates a development center in Troy/Michigan. And in order to lay the foundation for further worldwide growth, the Schaeffler Group is currently investing in the expansion and extension of its research and development capacities in Pune/India, Anting/China and Yokohama/Japan. "The rapid and economical development of new products and technologies will be of decisive importance for our future success as a supplier," emphasized Dr. Geissinger. He went on to say that the current financial and sales crisis was accelerating the consolidation process at the supplier level. In order to successfully cope with the great challenges in conjunction with new lowpollutant drive concepts and the shift of R&D activities from OEMs to the suppliers, both parties would have to form new partnerships.

"The Schaeffler Group has already taken this step by making a strategic investment in Continental AG," explained Dr. Geissinger. "Together with Continental AG, we want to become one of the most successful automotive suppliers in the market, having an excellent position in the growth sectors of energy efficiency and alternative drives - so that we can make significant contributions to building the 'automobile of the future'." In continuation he said that in the mediumterm there would be great potential for growth especially in the development of modern and resourcesaving drive concepts, and this potential could be exploited in cooperation with the U.S. automakers, said Dr. Geissinger.

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