Go to Video Section

Grille shutters make inroads

DETROIT — The drive to get more miles out of a gallon of gasoline is prompting U.S. automakers to bring an additional plastic part to the front of cars and trucks.

Published: February 8, 2013 2:12 pm ET
Updated: February 8, 2013 2:47 pm ET

DETROIT — The drive to get more miles out of a gallon of gasoline is prompting U.S. automakers to bring an additional plastic part to the front of cars and trucks.

Active grille shutters have already been used in Europe for a few years, but began making inroads in North American-made vehicles just in the recent past.

The shutters are plastic louvers located just behind the grille that open when the engine needs to be cooled, but can close when the car or truck is in motion. The closed grille improves aerodynamics, potentially improving fuel performance by a mile per gallon, said Tom Pilette, vice president of product and process development for Magna International Inc.'s Magna Exteriors and Interiors group, during an interview Jan. 17 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Aurora, Ontario-based Magna had produced shutters in Europe previously, and expanded molding of the parts to North America in 2012 to supply the systems to Chrysler Group LLC for its Dodge Dart and Dodge Ram 1500 pickup.

More automakers are planning to use active grille shutters in future vehicles as the industry moves closer to the federal requirement to improve the Corporate Average Fuel Economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events