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

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events