Editor’s Note: This article is part of our ongoing coverage commemorating 25 years of the PACE Awards for supplier innovation. For more about the program, visit the PACE Awards site.
Dura's sliding pickup window could defrost
To commemorate 25 years of PACE Awards for supplier innovation, Automotive News each week is looking at one of the many winners.
- 2010: Dura Automotive Systems Inc.
- Trade name: Horizontal sliding rear window with defrost
- Innovation: The sliding rear window of pickups gained a defrost function, without requiring a clunky design.
- Why it resonated: Traditional pickup buyers wanted a rear window that opened, while new buyers coming from passenger cars wanted a rear window with defrost. This innovation made both sets of consumers happy.
Some suppliers tried dropping heated window panels into a space-consuming box. That worked, but designers weren't happy with the added bulk. The tricky part was including the embedded wires that could perform the defrosting on a window that opens horizontally.
Dura Automotive's solution came from collaboration with Ford Motor Co. and other suppliers of glass and switches. The practical idea won a PACE Award for Dura in 2010. PACE said: "Dura's horizontal sliding rear window with defrost incorporates the defrost capability without compromising design or degrading styling aesthetics."
Ford and Dura additionally won a special Innovative Partnership PACE Award, an honor recognizing a degree of automaker-supplier collaboration above and beyond the usual give-and-take required to make some innovations possible.
Pickup owners love the sliding rear windows in their trucks, whether to reach back into the bed or to talk to their dogs riding there. But as more city dwellers began buying trucks, those consumers wanted — and expected — the same rear-window defrosting feature they were used to in their passenger cars.
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