GM Honors Two Shoreline Suppliers

April 16, 2004
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WEST MICHIGAN — Two West Michigan-based automotive suppliers, Gentex Corp. and Shape Corp., have earned GM’s Supplier of the Year award for 2003.

This was the eighth time and seventh consecutive year in which Zeeland-based Gentex Corp. received the award from GM.

It also is the fourth straight year that Shape, a Grand Haven company, has received the GM Supplier of the Year award.

Gentex strives to produce technologically advanced products, and our employees take pride in their commitment to quality,” said Garth Deur, Gentex’s executive vice president. “It’s an honor to have our efforts recognized by GM.”

Gentex supplies GM with interior and exterior auto-dimming mirrors and electronic components for numerous vehicle models produced and sold worldwide.

GM is Gentex’s largest customer and late last year signed a new three-year supply agreement with the company.

“Gentex is representative of the type of company we want to grow with as we strive to be the best worldwide,” said Bo Andersson, GM’s vice president of worldwide purchasing, production control and logistics.

“The company has a balanced focus on performance and behavior that supports GM’s priorities. Gentex is a role model for all of our suppliers.”

Gentex last year produced and shipped a record 10.3 million units of its popular Night Vision Safety mirror, a 17 percent increase over 2002, to automakers worldwide.

The shipment growth pushed Gentex to an 18.6 percent increase in annual revenues, to $469.0 million from $395.2 million. Annual net income grew 24 percent, to $106.8 million from $85.8 million.

Gentex and Shape Corp. were among 77 automotive suppliers worldwide to receive GM’s Supplier of the Year award for 2003. The annual award, created in 1992, is intended to recognize suppliers for their “exceptional contribution to the company.”

The award is based on a supplier’s performance in quality, service, technology and price. Teams of global purchasing, engineering, manufacturing and logistics executives at GM select the winners.

The 2003 awards were announced during a ceremony earlier this month in Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic.

“GM could not be the best without a world-class supply base and each of these companies demonstrated the best performance and behaviors in 2003 to earn a GM Supplier of the Year award,” Anderson said. “Each has set high standards for their peers in the industry to match.”

Shape Corp. supplies GM with front- and rear-end impact systems and high-impact beams for numerous automotive models produced worldwide.

It also is introducing a new thermo-plastic, energy-absorbing system.

The company employs more than 1,000 people at its facilities in the Grand Haven area.

“It’s great,” said Mark Weissenborn, manager of the GM Business Unit for Shape Corp. “It speaks well to the team on the GM business unit being able to execute and being able to meet and exceed the customer’s needs on an ongoing basis.”            

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