Plant Speaks at 2003 Management Briefing Seminars: TRW Automotive CEO Sees Collaboration and Innovation as Key to Attracting Needed Capital to Auto Industry
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.
Aug 6, 2003
Only innovation and collaboration between automakers and suppliers can generate the rapid changes needed and reverse the flight of capital from the world's auto industry, according to John C. Plant, president and chief executive officer of TRW Automotive Inc., a global leader in automotive safety systems.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010824/TRWLOGO Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030729/TRW )
In his keynote remarks here this morning at the Management Briefing Seminars, sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research and the University of Michigan, Plant said that attracting capital needs to be addressed by the auto industry as a top priority.
"We need to alter investors' misperceptions about the automotive industry and our growth potential," Plant said. "Capital investment is a crucial building block to support technological innovation ... and innovation is the lifeblood of a thriving industry."
Plant said investment capital has been a key priority at TRW Automotive, whose promising technologies and position attracted equity capital from one of the world's most successful private equity firms, The Blackstone Group, and this February became an independent automotive supplier in the second largest leveraged buyout in U.S. corporate history.
"We, as an industry, have tremendous strengths that we can build on to start changing perceptions, if we can work together with urgency, purpose and innovation," he said. "And I see opportunity for higher industry returns based on three factors: more collaboration between automakers and suppliers, more innovation focused on creating value and more communication with the consumer."
Reaching out to communicate directly with consumers, TRW recently commissioned a research study with American consumers, Plant said, to better understand their needs, awareness and perceived value of key safety features.
According to Plant, TRW is actively addressing emerging consumer concerns with the integration of a suite of complementary active and passive safety technologies which together will offer enhanced prevention of, and protection from, vehicle rollovers.
TRW's holistic approach to rollover safety includes a number of advanced technologies, including Lane Departure Warning and Active Roll Control -- which help keep the vehicle on the road; Vehicle Stability Control, Roll Stability Control and the Active Control Retractor -- which help to prevent rollover and alert the driver that he may be approaching the vehicle's limits; and the Rollover Inflatable Curtain Airbag -- which can protect the vehicle's occupants should a rollover occur.
Collaborating with automakers and other suppliers on such technologies can create value, save lives, drive new advancements, identify cost-savings opportunities, build investor confidence and ultimately increase profits, Plant said.
With sales of $10.6 billion in 2002, TRW Automotive Inc. ranks among the top 10 suppliers in the world. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the company employs approximately 63,000 people in 22 countries. Its products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine valves, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts and services. TRW Automotive news is available on the Internet at www.trwauto.com .Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010824/TRWLOGO NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030729/TRW AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/ PRN Photo Desk, +1-888-776-6555 or +1-212-782-2840 SOURCE: TRW Automotive Inc.
CONTACT: Manley Ford, +1-734-266-2616, or John Wilkerson, +1-734-266-3864, both of TRW; or Amy Popp of Bianchi PR, +1-248-269-1122, for TRW Automotive Inc.
Web site: http://www.trwauto.com/