Valeo Extends Wiper System Leadership with General Motors

  AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Valeo, global leader in wiper systems, has been selected by General Motors to supply wiper systems and components for the next generation of GM full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and full-size passenger cars.  "This is an extremely important contract for Valeo," said Thierry Morin, chairman of Valeo's Management Board.  "It shows we continue to gain General Motors' confidence in our ability to support major vehicle programs with innovative, cost-effective, high-quality systems and components.  I thank General Motors for this demonstration of the continuing relationship with Valeo.  "It is a further vote of confidence in the abilities of our teams and I applaud them for their continued efforts to serve one of our leading customers.  "This new business is our first major award from General Motors since Valeo Electrical Systems Inc. (VESI) successfully exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall, and will contribute to the transformation of Rochester into a profitable wiper systems facility," Morin added.  A feature of the wiper systems will be Valeo's innovative Flat Blade technology with curved steel splines.  This technology provides a number of advantages, including:        *  Innovative styling,     *  High-speed wind-lift performance,     *  Reduced vibration and wind noise -- at 150 kph, -3dB compared to a        standard blade,     *  Reduced height and weight -- approximately 50 percent,     *  Improved freeze resistance in cold weather conditions -- no icing of        superstructure,     *  Minimum obstruction in the driver's field of vision.   Valeo will supply front wiper modules, wiper arms and blades for the platforms.  The company will also supply rear wiper motors for all GMT900 SUVs.  All three Valeo Wiper Systems plants in North America will support the project:  Rochester, NY, to produce wiper modules for U.S.-produced vehicles; Juarez, Mexico, arms and blades; and San Luis Potosi, Mexico, rear wiper motors and wiper modules for Mexico-produced vehicles.  This wiper system with Flat Blade technology, together with other innovative wiper systems, is an integral part of Valeo's "Seeing and Being Seen" Domain.  This Domain, one of five strategic Domains that drives the company's technology and marketing strategy, addresses the need for enhanced driver and passenger visibility from both within and outside the vehicle.  Valeo is an independent industrial Group fully focused on the design, production and sale of components, integrated systems and modules for cars and trucks.  Valeo ranks among the world's top automotive suppliers.  The Group has 140 plants, 54 R&D centers, 9 distribution centers and employs 69,100 people in 25 countries worldwide.     SOURCE  Valeo /CONTACT:  Chandra Lewis of Valeo North America, +1-248-340-8437, Chandra.lewis@valeo.com or Malene Pickles of Valeo Paris, 33-1-4055-2074, Malene.Pickles@valeo.com /  CO:  Valeo; General Motors ST:  Michigan, New York, Mexico IN:  AUT SU:  CON