Eight companies ranging in size and scope from global technology giant Robert Bosch GmbH to an Austrian manufacturer of tire chains have been selected to receive Automechanika Innovation Awards for 2010.
The award, launched in 1996, was conceived to recognize outstanding technical achievements and product innovations in the automotive aftermarket sector. This year's winners were chosen by a panel of eight judges from 147 product entries in nine categories.
No award was given this year in the ninth category, IT and management.
• Bosch won in a new category this year, OE Products and Service, with its P2 Parallel Strong Hybrid System. The system allows automakers to convert standard models to hybrid-powered vehicles as an option, as Volkswagen Group has done with the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne.
Bosch, which ranks No. 2 on the Automotive News Europe listing of the top 100 global OEM suppliers, is the industry's first manufacturer to begin series production of a P2 hybrid system.
• IQ Power GmbH won in the Parts category with its Eco automotive-starter battery. The power pack has an automatic electrolyte mixing system that slows the loss of capacity over time from acid stratification, the biggest power killer in car batteries. The new battery also uses less lead, meaning it is as much as 15 percent lighter than older, standard batteries.
• China's Steelmate Co. Ltd. took first place in the Systems category with a multifunctional satellite navigation device that includes a tire-pressure monitoring system, parking sensor, back-up camera and multimedia features. A single touch screen on the dash controls each function.
• Osram GmbH was named winner in the Tuning category for its extended-life headlamps. The durable headlamps are guaranteed not to fail due to production or material faults for at least three years.
• Pewag Schneeketten GmbH won first place in the Accessories category. Its new snow chains for tires have a fully automated tensioning system that eliminates the need for eyelets, hooks or manual tensioning.
• Texa S.p.A was named winner of the Repair and Diagnostics category for developing a unit that can monitor all of a vehicle's electronic systems while the vehicle is running.
• Kristal Coatings BV won in the bracket for Repair and Maintenance Innovation for developing an air-drying clear coat that hardens fully at a temperature of only 20 degrees Celsius.
• Birchmeier Spruehtechnik AG won the Service Station and Car Wash award for a new hand spreader that can distribute sand, salt, oil-binding agents, grit or granulate over small to medium-sized areas evenly and in the quantity required.
The awards will be presented during Automechanika opening ceremonies at 10 a.m., Sept. 14, in Hall 4 of the Frankfurt Messe.