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Category: Awards and Events (page 1 of 3)

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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Lear Revs Up for the Detroit Grand Prix

Detroit, start your engines! On Friday, May 15, Lear officially kicked off our inaugural year of sponsorship for the Detroit Grand Prix. Our team excitedly gathered on the front lawn of our Southfield Campus for an afternoon filled with classic cars, good food and fun.

At our pre-event picnic, Lear hosted one of the IndyCar showcars that will be racing in the highly anticipated Detroit Grand Prix, set to take place May 29-31 on Belle Isle. Lear team members had the opportunity to view the car up close and take pictures while enjoying an employee picnic.

Several Lear employees also brought their classic cars to showcase at the event—from Mustangs to Camaros, the cars on display nearly transformed our grounds into a mini version of the Woodward Dream Cruise!

Other event highlights included Fathead’s signature cardboard cutouts of racers sporting Lear gear and a display of a real fire-suit, similar to the ones worn by Grand Prix drivers. Our team was encouraged to share their favorite moments and photo-ops on social media using the hashtag #LearRevsUp.

The Detroit Grand Prix signals the unofficial start of summer in the Motor City, and the Lear team is revved up to be a part of it!


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Highlights from the 2015 WardsAuto Interiors Conference

On May 13, 2015, WardsAuto held its annual Automotive Interiors Conference at Cobo Hall in Detroit. The conference provided a rare opportunity for information exchange and networking among some of the biggest names in the auto interior industry.

One of the most highly anticipated events surrounding the conference was the announcement of Ward’s 10 Best Interiors Awards, for which automakers were presented with trophies for their new and innovative auto interiors.

This year’s winners included:

  • 2014 BMW i3
  • 2015 Chrysler 300C Platinum
  • 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch
  • 2015 GMC Canyon SLT
  • 2015 Honda Fit EX-L
  • 2015 Jeep Renegade Limited
  • 2015 Kia Sedona SXL
  • 2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring
  • 2015 Mercedes C400
  • 2015 Nissan Murano SL

The winners were chosen from a pool of 42 new-to-market interiors and were scored on a number of criteria, such as design aesthetics, materials, ergonomics, safety, comfort, value, fit-and-finish and driver information.

The Lear team is extraordinarily proud to have played a part in designing six out of the top 10 winning interiors.

“In this year’s competition, we saw a lot of evidence that automakers are thinking creatively about interiors and putting a lot of design horsepower into not just luxury vehicles, but pickups, minivans and family sedans. And they are investing more in high-quality trim materials, electronic features and other details that will surprise and delight shoppers,” said WardsAuto Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter.

Another highlight of the conference was the announcement of the winner of the sixth annual WardsAuto Student Design Competition, sponsored in part by Lear.

Students in the Transportation Design Department at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies were faced with the challenge of designing an interior for a 2030 compact CUV with self-driving capabilities. Fred Liu (pictured above) was presented with the Lear Innovation Award for his cutting-edge, forward-thinking design.

Congratulations to all of the vehicle and student winners! We look forward to next year’s conference!


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