Autoliv Inc., a worldwide leader in automotive safety, on February 9 announced that its Querétaro, Mexico, airbag cushion facility has received a 2007 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing.

Having just recently been awarded the Shingo Prize for Region Central Mexico, the plant now becomes the first of Autolivs facilities in Mexico to receive the dual honor of being recognized with the international Shingo Prize as well. The award promotes world-class manufacturing and recognizes companies that achieve superior customer satisfaction and business results.

Autoliv is honored to once again be recognized with this award for its effective implementation of the lean manufacturing philosophy, said Lars Westerberg, president and CEO of Autoliv Inc. We are delighted that this award recognizes the commitment to excellence demonstrated by our employee teams in Querétaro, Mexico, who are consistently working to exceed customer expectations.

The Autoliv Querétaro South plant (known as Autoliv CMX) produces cushions for passenger, driver, side-impact and side-curtain airbags for Autolivs North American customers. Through the application of the Autoliv Production System, the facility has improved production efficiency by 75 percent, reduced changeover time by 20 percent, improved customer quality by 98 percent, boosted inventory turnover from 14 to 24, increased units produced per week by 94 percent, and improved LMPU (labor minutes per unit) by 23 percent, even while launching 64 new programs.

During this same timeframe, the Autoliv CMX facility has been driving process improvements, resulting in four consecutive ISO/TS audits with zero non-conformance issues, and four consecutive years with 100 percent On-Time Delivery to its customers.