Valeo North America has won another important contract for the next generation of General Motors' high-volume full-sized pickups and SUVs, known internally as the GMT 900 program.
Valeo will supply to GM its "e-module," a liftgate system that includes a rear-vision camera and rear proximity sensors.
Once the driver shifts into reverse, the rear-vision camera system will display on the cockpit's navigation screen any objects behind the vehicle. The proximity sensors measure how close objects are, with the distance in centimeters displayed on the navigation screen. Such measuring technology is not available in North American vehicles. Valeo already won the GMT 900 contract for front wiper modules, wiper arms and flat blades, plus rear wiper motors for the SUVs.
The e-module includes the vehicle's rear wiper system. When the rear wiper is activated to clean the window, the rear-vision camera also is cleaned. Valeo would not disclose the system's cost. But J.D. Power and Associates' 2002 Feature Contenting Report, prepared for Valeo, indicates that U.S. consumers would be willing to pay about $200 for a proximity sensor and about $250 for a rear-vision camera.
About 6 percent of the new-vehicle buyers who J.D. Power surveyed have a proximity sensor, without measurement, while about 43 percent want the technology. The report also indicates that 24 percent of those surveyed desire a rear-vision camera.
William Romesburg, business development manager for Valeo Wiper Systems North America in Auburn Hills, Mich., says the supplier also is talking with the Chrysler group to supply the e-module for its next-generation minivans.