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'Active grille shutters' find way into production cars

October 3, 2012

AURORA, ONTARIO (Oct. 3, 11:55 a.m. ET) — The North American auto industry is adding another piece of technology to its stable of fuel-sipping parts.

“Active grille shutters” place a louver system behind the thermoplastic front grille of cars. Those louvers open and close as needed to improve performance by either directing cool air to the engine when it is under increased demand, or close to improve aerodynamics. The active grille systems are gaining acceptance in North America, building on an established use in Europe, said Magna International Inc.

Aurora, Ontario-based Magna has launched production of its active grille shutter program on U.S.-made cars, debuting on Chrysler Group LLC’s 2013 Dodge Dart and the Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, Magna announced in an Oct. 2 news release. The shutters are also set to appear on four more upcoming vehicles in the near future.

“Nearly every passenger vehicle introduced in upcoming years will have some kind of active shutter system,” predicted Bob Brownlee, president of Magna Exteriors and Interiors.