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Lear Valls Community Race Goes Global for a Cause

Family and friends joined together to cheer on Lear Valls team members for the second annual “Hol.la Genís” race on September 20. Founded by Lear’s own Pilar Giner, Hol.la Genís is an organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for children’s cancer research and supporting those families affected by a childhood illness.

Pilar named the organization after her son Genís, who was diagnosed with cancer at age three. Genís bravely conquered the disease, and five years later he’s happily leading a healthy and normal life. Inspired by her son’s recovery, Pilar’s work and the annual race represent her personal dedication to the cause.

This year, the run attracted over 900 participants, more than 300 of which were Lear employees, with additional team members running in solidarity around the world—a significant increase over last year’s 275 participants. Relatives and friends (and even some pets), all joined in for a 5k run/walk or 10k walk.

The event was made even more special with the participation of Lear’s global family. Although they couldn’t participate in person, employees who wanted to take part were able to contribute in other ways. For example, a group from Lear Schwaig ran the “Erdinger Stadtlauf” race in Germany, and their team wore Hol.la Genís shirts.

“It is humbling to see how many Lear team members rose to the occasion to support another team member for a great cause,” said Mariano de Torres (VP – Electrical, Europe & Africa).

In the spirit of our commitment to the communities where we do business, Lear generously contributed a donation match for all company team member registration fees. All funds will go to benefit Fundació de l’Hospital Sant Joan de Deu (Foundation of Saint John of God Hospital), the Ronald McDonald Foundation Home and the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Spain.

Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona is a teaching hospital associated with the University of Barcelona (Universitat de Barcelona) specializing in the fields of pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics. Ronald McDonald House Charities is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. With operations in more than 40 countries, the Make-A-Wish Foundation arranges experiences (described as “wishes”) to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

To learn more about Hol.la Genis, please visit their page on Facebook.

Lear Exhibit On View at the Coventry Transport Museum

The Coventry Transport Museum tells the fascinating story of the city and its people through the rise and fall of its biggest industry. In November 2013, Gary Hall, the museum’s Chief Executive, approached Lear with a request to provide an automotive exhibit as part of its £9.5M (US $14.5M) redevelopment program.

Billing itself as the world’s largest collection of British road transport, and home to ThrustSSC and Thrust2 (the world’s two fastest cars), the museum was keen to showcase Lear products and educate visitors to the level of local production, technology and skills being applied by companies within the area, in support of Jaguar Land Rover and other key automotive manufacturers.

The museum, originally opened in 1980, is frequented by Lear customers and provided an incredible opportunity to display Lear products within the context of other customers and automotive supplier and manufacturer exhibits. The resulting exhibit acknowledges Lear’s presence in Coventry since 1993, and highlights the company as a significant and successful employer in the region.

“As a team we were keen to support this initiative not only for reasons of local pride in the products being manufactured, but also the team’s strong desire and motivation to work on behalf of local community projects. This request also came at a critical phase within the business in attracting future talent within an increasingly competitive skills market. As with most first-tier suppliers we do not self-brand products as such,” said Alex Taylor (Engineering Mgr.). “We believe that this exhibit has successfully achieved its aims in demonstrating the range of opportunities and depth of skills within Lear.”

The introduction of an apprenticeship scheme in the UK has further reinforced the need for increasing local brand and company awareness in the region. The exhibit thus provides an incredible opportunity to showcase Lear’s profile and range of technologies to the general public and school groups.

“I would just like to acknowledge the collective efforts and support provided by the Lear team in the UK, notably coordinated by Irina Cojocariu and also the Sales and Marketing teams in Spain and North America that have worked together to create this fabulous new exhibition,” Alex added.

The museum’s redevelopment was completed on June 19, 2015, and since that time has attracted more than 100,000 visitors, including 3,500 families, 60 schools and 2,000 schoolchildren. The venue has also attracted UK-wide publicity and serves to promote interest in Lear as a future employer.

In addition to many Jaguars, the museum features other Coventry-built cars such as Triumph, Humber and Standard, as well as military, agricultural and public transport vehicles built in the area. The collection also extends to motorcycles such as Triumph, Coventry-Eagle and other brands.

The museum is located in the city center, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of London, and offers free admission to the public. For more information, please visit www.transport-museum.com.


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Lear Valls & Barcelona Engineering Students Unveil F1 Electrical Racecar

A student team at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) recently unveiled its CAT08e Formula 1 electrical racecar in Barcelona. This was the second annual event of its kind in partnership with Lear Valls.

The UPC students attend courses in the engineering school, Escola T​ècnica Superior d’Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB). This special collaboration with Lear allows engineering students nearing degree completion to acquire real world experience before entering the job market, giving them the opportunity to interact with suppliers, work on design content and contribute to a significant team project.

Using Lear Electrical’s high voltage product contributions, including the emergency switch located at the right side of the driver, the new generation vehicle boasts a number of significant improvements over the previous one, in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, weight reduction, materials and power from the electric motor.

“It is a pleasure to watch young people grow in enthusiasm and knowledge,” said Jordi Bigorra (Mech. Eng. & Design Dir.). “Improving just from last year’s vehicle, the students realized a total weight reduction of 13%. This assists them in getting a ‘full picture’ of a major project, with them also seeing electrical advances that Lear team members work on all the time, such as wire harness weight reduction and lighter power inverters and increased power to 136kw for the 400v battery. They also become even more aware of new regulations with which we deal on an ongoing basis and achieved a significant battery weight reduction in line with the new rules.”

Lear furthered its partnership with the UPC team, by providing additional support in terms of funding, materials and components for the vehicle’s electrical distribution system, and engineering support for the design team. Lear contributed low and high-voltage terminals and connectors, high current fuses and high cross-section shielded cable, and Lear engineers assisted in printed circuit board design.

“It is a pleasure for Lear to provide continued support to the ETSEIB Motorsport team,” said Raúl Martinez (Functional Safety & Engineering Quality Systems Mgr.), who served as Lear project liaison. “We are convinced that this is a great way to encourage students’ eagerness to challenge existing solutions, strive for innovation and become ready for a successful professional career.”

The new CAT08e vehicle made its Formula 1 student team racing debut in Hockenheim, Germany, at the end of July.


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Lear Munich Hosts a Special Family Day

Nearly 500 Lear Oberding team members and their families recently enjoyed a special Family Day.

At the start of the June 26 event, guests received welcome packages including vouchers for snacks, drinks, dinner and a number for tombola (raffle) prizes. Attendees then had a chance to purchase raffle tickets for just 1€ each, with all proceeds going to the local hospice association for palliative research. Various suppliers donated more than 600 raffle prizes, such as weekend use of a Porsche, dinner, hotel vouchers for a getaway, toys and gift baskets.

Everyone enjoyed delicious food and refreshments and the kids participated in fun activities including table football (foosball), face painting, bounce houses and basketball games.

Lear executives Gideon Jewel (Pres. – Global JIT), Mariano de Torres (VP – Electrical, Europe & Africa) and Achim Braun (VP – HR, Europe & Africa) welcomed the attendees.

“We are very happy to have you all here today to help us celebrate,” said Gideon. “It has now been nearly four years since we moved into this building and in that time we have grown to include two other buildings in this area. We have won significant new business with Volkswagen Group, Mercedes and BMW. Those new business wins are no accident. They are a direct result of having great people and great products and for that I want to say thank you.”

“This year for Electrical has been strong, a year of improved performance; in fact, last year we established a new high versus prior history,” said Mariano. “In addition to growth in all Electrical businesses, we have seen Lear increase our involvement in the local community by continuing to support good causes. Also, we will be getting together as One Lear soon with nearly 100 employees in the B2B run here in Munich next month.”

“Having recently moved from Lear Asia, I can say as we stand here today Lear is moving in a good direction, our business is becoming stronger, we are becoming a stronger part of the community and we have some of the best people in the industry,” said Achim. “None of that would be possible without the contribution that each of you have made. We also understand that as an employer it is not just the employee who is impacted by Lear but also the whole family, and that is why we want your families to know how grateful we are and to have a day were we could celebrate your achievements.”

Families were also invited for a special tour of the Lear showroom, where they were given a rare glimpse into their family members’ workspaces, with information provided by Klaus Raab and Michael Menges (Seating Engineering), and Thomas Herzberg and Sebastian Schieffer (Electrical Sales). Afterwards, everyone delighted in a traditional German dinner, accompanied by live music and the raffle drawing.

“I would like to thank all who shared the day and add a very important thanks to Nadine Lichtensperger, who led the event organizing, and to all the volunteers for their hard work and commitment to make the day so successful,” Gideon concluded.  “With the donations from our suppliers and Lear gear for the raffle, it was also meaningful to raise a significant amount for the local hospice association as a way of giving back to the community.”


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The President of Honduras Visits Lear’s Naco Plant

On May 12, Lear’s Naco Plant in Honduras was honored with a visit from the country’s President, Mr. Juan Orlando Hernandez. The President was greeted by Jessica Galdamez (Plant Mgr.) and the local team, as well as Alfonso Delgadillo (VP – Electrical Ops., Americas); Gabriel Lujan (VP – HR, Lear Mexico); Lorena Loya (HR Dir.); and Rafael Coello (Electrical Ops. Dir, Central & South America).

“It was an honor to receive the visit from our country’s president,” said Jessica. “It’s important to take this opportunity to thank all team members over the years and highlight our emphasis on being the best representatives of the Lear spirit around the world.”

Lear Naco has created more than 2,000 new jobs in the last year under the Honduran government-led program “Con Chamba Vivis Mejor” (“You will live better with a job”). President Hernandez explained to the Lear executives that he wants to support the investment in Honduras and generate more job opportunities for Honduran people. This visit also helped the President to become better acquainted with Lear operations at the plant—the largest Lear wiring operation in the Americas, with more than 6,000 team members.

In addition to continuing to assist new jobs creation with the program, President Hernandez also talked with Lear employees about other social programs that will benefit them, such as access to affordable home credits with the lowest interest rate.

In a special meeting with the President, the Lear management team shared Lear’s global profile and how Lear has been positively impacting the community for 21 years, with the expectation of continuing to work together for everyone’s benefit. Additionally, Mr. Hernandez offered to improve the customs system in the maritime ports in order to expedite the materials imported to the country—one of the biggest opportunities identified by Honduran operations.

At the end of the event, employee representative Armin Canales offered a present to Mr. Hernandez: a wire harness made by Lear Naco employees as a memento of his visit, and Naco’s contribution to the local economy and the global automotive industry.

“Lear has made a commitment to continue working together as much as possible with the government to promote more job opportunities for the Honduran people,” said Gabriel. “We would like to thank everyone at the Naco plant for the warm welcome extended to our important guest and we look forward to even more progress in the region.”


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