Issue: Jul 2018


by James Hilton

Magna collected three first-place awards at the 2018 Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Awards gala held on July 6 in Dusseldorf, Germany. In recognition of its innovative lightweighting efforts enabled by advanced materials, Magna’s thermoplastic liftgate for the 2019 Jeep Cherokee won the body exterior category; its carbon fiber subframe prototype won the chassis category; and its torsional welding joining process won in the enabling technology category.

“SPE clearly recognizes the importance of lightweighting innovations in today’s automotive manufacturing environment,” said Magna Exteriors President Grahame Burrow. “We appreciate this recognition and look forward to bringing automakers more new products and processes to help them meet their goals.”


Lightweight, fully recyclable, composite liftgates, like those found on all 2019 Jeep Cherokees, are particularly beneficial as demand for crossover and sport utility vehicles remains high globally. These liftgate modules achieve up to 25 percent mass savings over steel versions and are delivered as complete assemblies to the customer. Composite materials allow for greater design flexibility with deeper draws and tighter radii. Additional benefits of Magna’s full-system assembly and delivery approach include reduced complexity of the total liftgate module, lower tooling investment and increased throughput at the assembly plant.

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