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Henkel Selected as 2010 PACE Award Finalist

Henkel Corporation has been selected as an Automotive News PACE Award finalist for its environmentally responsible Aquence® Co-Cure process technology. The Co-Cure process simplifies conventional metal pretreatment by reducing it to a two-coat cure process, therefore reducing the production footprint up to 40 percent. In addition, by curing the Aquence® coating and topcoat together in a single oven, the process also reduces energy requirements.

The Aquence® Co-Cure process is an efficient, leaner paint process which uses Henkel’s Aquence® series of autodeposition coatings in combination with liquid or powder topcoats to coat miscellaneous components. This process provides total part coverage, improved inside-out corrosion, superior edge protection and contains no HAPs or heavy metals.

Henkel is recognized as a finalist in the Manufacturing Process category for its Aquence® Co-Cure process technology. Henkel was first to introduce the technology at Valley Towing Products (formerly Thule Towing Systems), which uses the new Aquence® 930(TM) autodeposition coating and a powder topcoat application to coat its towing systems, including hitches and fifth wheels for automotive OEM and aftermarket applications. The new Aquence® Co-Cure system utilized Valley’s existing metal pretreatment and powder equipment at its Lodi, Calif. facility due to its capital utilization, process efficiency and performance.

“We are excited to be a part of this opportunity with Henkel,” said George Caplea, president and CEO, Valley Towing Products. “The Aquence® Co-Cure process has provided superior quality performance and contributed to substantial savings and efficiencies in our manufacturing process.”

“This game-changing technology will reinvent the total automotive paint shop,” said Chuck Evans, executive vice president, automotive, Henkel. “As the industry’s leanest and most sustainable paint shop solution, this revolutionary two-coat Aquence® Co-Cure process reduces energy requirements, eliminates stages and contains no heavy metals. We are proud to be considered for the prestigious PACE Award, the benchmark of automotive innovation. This is a true testament to Henkel’s continued commitment to and investment in sustainable and innovative technologies for our customers.”

Henkel won the 2009 Automotive News PACE Award in the Manufacturing Process category for TecTalis®, the automotive industries first phosphate-free pretreatment that completely eliminates phosphates along with heavy metals such as nickel and manganese from the process.

Winners will be announced in April 2010. For more information on Aquence®, please visit .

About Henkel

Henkel ( is the market leader in adhesives, sealants and surface treatments to the transportation industry. Backed by extensive design capabilities, a broad product range, specific application knowledge and technical expertise, the company delivers solutions to all segments of automotive development – automotive body, interior, chassis, electronics and powertrain production. Through powerful brands like Loctite®, Teroson®, Aquence®, Bonderite®, Frekote® and Multan®, Henkel provides significant economic and environmental advantages for today’s vehicles, making them safer, more comfortable and extending vehicle value.

Henkel has been committed to making people’s lives easier, better and more beautiful for more than

130 years. A Fortune Global 500 and Germany’s most admired company according to a recent Fortune survey, Henkel offers strong brands and technologies in three areas of competence: Home Care, Personal Care and Adhesive Technologies. Each day, more than 52,000 employees in 125 countries are dedicated to fulfilling Henkel’s claim “A Brand like a Friend.” In fiscal 2008, Henkel generated sales of 14,131 million euros and adjusted operating profit of 1,460 million euros.

About Valley Towing Systems

Valley Towing Products has been a manufacturer of high-quality trailer hitches, towing accessories and electrical trailering products since 1947, covering a wide range of markets including automotive aftermarket, original equipment, RV, boating, agricultural and commercial. In 2009, the company was purchased by its management team, which is composed of industry leaders with decades of towing industry experience. Offering a continuously expanding product line, Valley designs, manufactures and tests its products in a state-of-the-art R&D facility. All products are tested to exceed federal towing standards.

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