Growth through Award-Winning Innovations

Expansion of production capacity and "Yellow Angel" Award for UniAir/MultiAir, the world's first continuously variable hydraulic valve train

Herzogenaurach, (PresseBox) - The Schaeffler Group is preparing the expansion of its manufacturing capacity in North America for its multiple awardwinning UniAir product, which is the world's first continuously variable hydraulic valve train system. The UniAir valve train actuator, invented by Fiat Powertrain Technologies and developed and produced under licence by the Schaeffler Group, is a key component of the Fiat Powertrain Technologies MultiAir* system, which made its debut in the middle of 2009 with introduction of the Alfa MiTo 1.4 MultiAir. This continuously variable valve train allows several advantages in reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and engine performance increase. MultiAir turbocharged and downsized engines can achieve up to 25 percent fuel economy improvement over conventional naturally aspirated engines with the same level of performance. And the lowrpm torque is improved by up to 15 percent through early intake valve closing strategies.

The number of MultiAir models available on the market continues to grow. Besides various Alfa Romeo models, continuously variable valve trains will be offered successively in other Fiat models. The upcoming introduction of MultiAir to the US market by Chrysler will necessitate an expansion of the Schaeffler Group's production capacity in North America. "We have already started our knowhow transfer process and production planning," said Dr. Peter Pleus, President of Schaeffler Group Automotive. In North America, the manufacturing location for the continuously variable valve train system will be in Cheraw, South Carolina. The plant is one of the Schaeffler Group's 15 development and production locations in North America and Mexico. Globally, the Schaeffler Group has 180 locations, providing customers with the local presence they require in the world's economic centers.

On the occasion of its "Yellow Angel" awards ceremony, which was also attended by German Federal President Horst Köhler, Germany's automobile club ADAC encouraged manufacturers to offer more vehicles featuring this innovative technology. The continuosly variable hydraulic valve train system received a "Yellow Angel" award in the "Innovations and Environment" category. A jury of experts, which included ADAC board representatives as well as the presidents of several German industry associations (VDA, VDIK and ZDK) had to choose from among 46 excellent initiatives, projects and innovations in safety, environmental protection and technology. MultiAir won one of three awards at the categorie "Innovation and Environment". "Awards like the highly respected "Yellow Angel" demonstrate the great importance of environmentally friendly and groundbreaking innovations such as UniAir/MultiAir," Dr. Peter Pleus said. "UniAir is one of many innovative Schaeffler Group products that offer solutions for reducing fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. Energy efficiency has always been one of the Schaeffler Group's core competencies."

*MultiAir is a Fiat registered trademark

Schaeffler AG

Around 1,250 patent applications annually make the Schaeffler Group one of Germany's leading innovators. With its INA, LuK and FAG brands, the Group is one of the world's leading rolling bearing manufacturers and a renowned supplier to the automotive industry. To this industry, the Schaeffler Group is a recognized development partner with systems expertise for the complete power train. The Schaeffler Group's precision products for engines, transmissions and chassis help reduce energy consumption and pollutants while increasing driving comfort and safety. The transmission systems division offers its classics, "manual transmissions" and "automatic transmissions," as well as automated manual transmissions, twinclutch transmissions and CVTs. Applications for alternative drive concepts, such as hybrid drives, round off the transmission range of the future. Schaeffler's Automotive Aftermarket supplies dealerships and independent repair shops with replacement parts and services.

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