PR Newswire

Tokyo Motor Show: Success with Japanese automakers due to Freudenberg-NOK's products, people and plants

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015

PLYMOUTH, Mich., Oct. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As the 44th annual 2015 Tokyo Motor Show kicks off this week, consumers and media are likely to be dazzled by the more than 160 exhibitors, including 14 automotive manufacturers slated to unveil their newest models, concept vehicles and technology. Japanese automakers, in particular, are expected to wow audiences on their home turf.

Behind the scenes, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (Freudenberg-NOK) is supporting many of these vehicle launches with world class sealing solutions and dedicated customer service that has helped bridge cultures between North America, Europe and Japan. The company's unique German, Japanese and American heritage – it is a North American joint venture between Freudenberg and Co. in Germany and NOK Corp. in Japan – insures that it is producing value-driven technology solutions for OEM customers operating throughout the world. Great people, plants and products are behind the global supplier's success.

Great People

The company's 15-person Japanese Affiliated Customer (JAC) team in the United States is responsible for securing sales to Japanese OEMs and Tier One suppliers. The team, which includes five engineers, has increased sales to Japanese OEMs and their supporting Tier One suppliers by 66 percent in the last five years through quality products, state-of-the-art production processes and a significant acknowledgment to varying cultural standards in business.

"Members of the JAC team are instrumental in helping Freudenberg-NOK understand the subtleties of globally working with Japanese auto manufacturers and suppliers and meeting all of their expectations for international business," said Christopher Loper, sales director for JAC.  "Language capabilities and being patient are just one of the many benefits they bring to the team. They strive to have an inherent understanding of the culture and business protocols that promote collaboration and solid business relationships. They are invaluable to our organization."

"The NOK engineers provide a valuable service connecting NOK's technical group with Freudenberg-NOK's Lead Center engineers and our account managers," Loper continued. "Because of NOK's strong market share and large sales force – approximately 500-plus employees – we are challenged by NOK to conduct continuous follow-up to localize parts and support its needs. We are a busy group!"

Great Plants

Mexico is poised to become the largest auto exporting country to the United States, thanks in part to exceptionally strong investment from Japanese OEMs. To support this growth, the JAC team has pushed production in the company's Queretaro, Mexico facility into high gear. The plant has added new engine, transmission and driveline oil seal lines to supply these components to Japanese engine and transmission customers as well as major automakers operating in Mexico. This new portfolio will become the foundation of what the company anticipates will be a 400 percent increase in production by 2017.

"They want parts that are produced in Japan to perfectly match those produced at our newly upgraded Queretaro plant," Loper said, "and we were very successful in achieving a smooth transition in production to Mexico with the help of the JAC team coordinating with NOK and Queretaro team members."

"We've seen increased requests for production in Mexico, and our company is expanding production to meet those requests," said Gary VanWambeke, vice president, Global Transmission and Driveline Lead Center, Freudenberg-NOK. "Just six months after beginning the process to install the necessary machinery to produce oil seals, we had 58 pieces of equipment running and 2.4 million parts delivered."

By integrating into the Mexican industry, Freudenberg-NOK's Queretaro location has become one of the company's fastest growing facilities. Production numbers are expected to continue growing as Mexico increases its exporting trend and as automakers continue moving production to the country.

Great Products

To keep its Japanese OEM customers working in Mexico and throughout North America serviced, Freudenberg-NOK has been ramping up Queretaro production of its powertrain oil seals – front crankshaft seal, rear crankshaft seal, plug tube seal and transmission differential seals – significantly increasing market share. Freudenberg-NOK is helping its customers meet emission challenges by offering engine oil seal components coated with a low friction main sealing lip coating. The company is also supplying valve stem seals, O-Rings, bonded piston seals, gaskets and specialty molded components to these manufacturers as well.

In fact, the company has an entire Low Emission Sealing Solution (LESS) program that offers all vehicle manufacturers state-of-the-art, emission reducing technology. These applications were specifically designed for automotive applications and reduce friction, improve service life, cut emissions and are smaller and lighter than the conventional components they replace.

For example, its nearly frictionless Levitex seals will go into an engine for a global platform in 2017. The new seals function with a cushion of air, reducing both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Its Energy Saving Seal (ESS), for engine crankshafts and camshafts, combines the robust sealing interface of a conventional polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) collar with the friction-reducing properties of an elastomer seal. Friction is reduced by 40 percent compared with a conventional PTFE lip. And its CASCO cassette-type seal produces up to 70 percent greater energy savings compared with conventional lip designs used in other transmission, driveline and diesel engine segment seals.

Levitex, ESS and CASCO are trademarks of Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies.

About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between Freudenberg and Co. in Germany and NOK Corp. in Japan. Freudenberg-NOK is a leading producer of advanced sealing technologies for a variety of markets including: aerospace; agriculture; appliance; automotive; construction; diesel engine; energy; food and beverage; heavy industry; and pharmaceutical. Founded in 1989 under the legal name Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, Freudenberg-NOK is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich. and operates more than 20 facilities across the Americas. For additional information, please visit


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