Webasto Lets the Sun in with Industry Class Size Largest Polycarbonate Roof System

Additional Webasto Roof and Tailgate Systems Making Impact in Marketplace

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., April 18 -- Webasto did not invent the sun, but it does allow it to shine in more as the automotive industry's leading roof system supplier.

Webasto continues to improve product designs and innovative material use to give automakers the options they need to reach consumers in the marketplace with features that differentiate their brand and attract new car buyers while keeping loyal customers happy with innovative and cost-effective designs and technologies.

In the case of DaimlerChrysler's new smart fortwo, displayed at the Geneva Auto Show, Webasto's large polycarbonate roof system shows the positive growth and design modernization of going beyond the traditional "sunroof."

"The Pulse and Passion versions of the new smart fortwo vehicles shown at Geneva come with a lightweight, high-strength panoramic roof made from polycarbonate by Webasto," said Jean-Guy Cocaign, Vice President, Engineering, at Webasto Roof Systems, Inc. "With an industry-leading size of 13 square feet, it allows plenty of light to flood into the interior at the choice of vehicle occupants, and is at the same time the undisputed polycarbonate world champion for size.

"Webasto has coated this extremely tough plastic with a special finish on the outside and inside to provide high scratch resistance. Slight tinting ensures that about 60 percent of incoming solar energy and 100 percent of the UV radiation stay outside. It has been possible to manufacture a window of this size for the first time only because of a production technology that Webasto has adapted to this product."

Testing, including crash and rollover performance and its sensitivity to temperature change, showed that, due to its extremely high impact strength, the 0.16-inch thick polycarbonate roof system offers a maximum standard of occupant safety as well as reliable protection against minor scuffs and scratches (stone chips, etc.). It also provides a significant cost saving versus a conventional glass roof and a 50 percent reduction in weight.

For improved esthetics and passenger comfort, the Webasto roof system has a roller blind that can be manually operated and left in virtually any position, leaving complete control to the passengers rather than using limited settings determined by the manufacturer. The high-quality black polyester material provides optimum sun shielding when desired, creating additional levels of interior comfort.

Volvo C30

As one of its latest innovations for the marketplace, Webasto has created an attractive glass tailgate for the new Volvo C 30. The tailgate module is composed of a glass panel, a carrier frame and preassembled add-on parts. The system is also supplied with the roof spoiler (painted to match the car's color), a wiper system as well as the opening handles. All interfaces between the car and the tailgate are adapted so that the assembly can be mounted on the car directly as a complete module.

"This is just one of many examples of where Webasto is working with the OEMs to give them exceptional products, new designs for consumer comfort, and provide all of it in a modular system that can save the manufacture in productions costs," Cocaign said.

Webasto supplies roof systems and engine-off heating systems directly to automotive OEMs as well as to end customers via aftermarket distribution channels. Webasto's recent growth and success can be attributed to growing interest in large panorama roof systems and its emerging presence and success in the development and manufacturing of innovative cabriolet systems.

Webasto Roof Systems, Inc. is a subsidiary of Webasto AG, one of the world's largest suppliers of roof systems and thermosystems to the automotive industry. The 106-year-old company is based in Stockdorf, Germany, and employs more than 6,000 people in over 40 countries. For additional information, please visit www.webasto.com.

Source: Webasto Roof Systems, Inc.


Andreas S. Weller, of Webasto Roof Systems, Inc.,

+1-248-997- 5273,


or Rex Greenslade,

for Webasto Roof Systems, Inc.,



Web site: www.webasto.com

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