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Audi for partnership with Dana Holding Corp., Continental Automotive and FTE automotive

Audi AG for partially coated multi-layer steel transmission separator plates with Dana Holding Corp.; printed circuit board substrate technology for transmission electronics with Continental Automotive; and hydraulic gear shift actuator module with FTE automotive

For the first time in the twenty-one years of the Automotive News PACE Awards program we have three independent applications reaching the Finalist level with innovations incorporated on a single vehicle program. On their own, Continental’s Transmission Business Unit, Dana's Victor Reinz Gasket Division, and FTE each developed a significant innovation that allowed it to stand out from the application field, the surprising discovery during the judging process was that they are all focused on the same Audi transmission.

As the Judges spoke with the applicant teams and Audi executives during the judging process we were taken by the breadth of Audi's vision for innovation in the transmission space and their view of working with suppliers to accelerate innovation delivery. Typically innovation in complex assemblies is incorporated in a serial fashion to manage risk, and that one would expect that to be the case when dealing with outside suppliers, but as evidenced by our three Finalists, Audi has an alternative Parallel Supplier Innovation approach that is noteworthy. With their new Steptronic transmission.