West Michigan companies named among GM’s top global suppliers

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GM recognized Gentex (Zeeland), Martin Transportation Systems (Wayland), Shape Corp. (Grand Haven) and Summit Polymers (Portage) as some of its most innovative partners during a virtual celebration of its 28th annual Supplier of the Year awards June 24. Courtesy GM

General Motors named four West Michigan companies among its most innovative and high-quality suppliers in 2019.

GM recognized Gentex (Zeeland), Martin Transportation Systems (Wayland), Shape Corp. (Grand Haven) and Summit Polymers (Portage) as some of its most innovative partners during a virtual celebration of its 28th annual Supplier of the Year awards June 24.

Recipients of the Supplier of the Year award included 116 suppliers from 15 countries with 13 first-time winners, as well as eight companies who earned GM’s Innovation and Overdrive Awards.

GM’s Supplier of the Year award is reserved for suppliers that distinguish themselves by going above and beyond GM’s requirements, providing customers with “the most innovative technologies and highest quality” in the automotive industry.

“Our suppliers play a key role in delivering the products, services and experiences our customers deserve — and these award-winning suppliers went above and beyond our expectations,” said Shilpan Amin, GM’s vice president, global purchasing and supply chain.

“We also believe it’s important at this point in time to thank our entire supply base for their efforts the past few months to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. Not only have we been able to safely restart our manufacturing operations, our suppliers played a key role in assisting our initiatives to increase the supply of ventilators and personal protective equipment for frontline health care workers to help save lives and keep communities safe.”

The awards ceremony was originally scheduled as a live event to be held in March but was postponed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recognition is for supplier performance in the 2019 calendar year. Five of the award-winning suppliers were minority-owned enterprises.

GM was the first automotive OEM to establish a supplier diversity program in 1968. Based on the past eight years, GM has averaged $3.6 billion in Tier 1 spend with minority suppliers.

Innovation Awards

LG Display/LG Electronics, Magna Seating, Grand Haven-based Shape Corp. and Strattec Security Corporation won Innovation Awards for delivering cutting-edge technologies that “substantially enhance vehicle capabilities and/or the customer experience.”

LG Display/LG Electronics was recognized for its P-OLED technology on the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, which marked the first use of a curved OLED display in a production vehicle. The three curved screens make up the instrument panel cluster for displaying basic vehicle-related information and an integrated center stack that serves as an infotainment display for audio, video and navigation content.

Magna Seating distinguished itself by envisioning the car seat of the future with its Freeform seat design. For GM customers, this provides rear-seat passengers with a sculpted, wrinkle-free design and increased comfort and knee room.

Shape Corp. was honored for engineering and manufacturing the automotive industry’s first curved, multihollow pultruded carbon fiber bumper beam for the 2020 Corvette Stingray. The bumper’s properties provide a lightweight design needed to help the Corvette meet its weight requirements.

Strattec Security Corporation differentiated itself with its new Invis-A-Rise power tailgate technology on the Chevrolet Silverado pickup. This feature allows users to automatically open, close and latch the vehicle’s tailgate with the push of a button.

Overdrive Awards

GM also honored four companies — BASF, FreightVerify, Linamar and Morley — with its Overdrive Award. The award, first given in 2012, recognizes supply partners for extraordinary leadership in cultural change and commitment initiatives that drive exceptional business results for GM.

The Supplier of the Year, Overdrive and Innovation award winners were chosen by a global team of GM purchasing, engineering, quality, manufacturing and logistics executives. Winners were selected based on performance criteria in product purchasing, global purchasing and manufacturing services, customer care and aftersales, and logistics.

The full list of General Motors’ 2019 Supplier of the Year award winners is online.

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