secuCHARGE, excellENTRY and Seat Back Latch – Kiekert Introduces Its Latest Technologies to Answer Prevailing Trends in the Auto Industry

Electrification and digitization – mobility is extremely changing and this will have an impact on our lifestyle in the future. Kiekert, the technology leader in automotive locking systems, is introducing its latest vehicle door-latch systems in the United States to answer these prevailing trends: the latest generation of the e-charging security system secuCHARGE, the electric door latch excellENTRY and seat back latch, which was specifically developed for the US automotive market.

Kiekert’s latest generation of its charging-plug actuator secuCHARGE is designed for a safer and more secure charging of electric cars. The more compact and robust e-charging security system features an innovative drive technology. The higher gear ratio inside the extremely small package results in an increased locking force, relative to conventional gearing, guaranteeing maximum efficiency from minimum space. The robust configuration and improved sensors offer a more precise detection of the locking pin for greater system safety. It can be unlocked using the vehicle key or a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. The start of production (SOP) will take place at the end of 2019 followed by another SOP in 2020.

Kiekert’s excellENTRY is an appealing technology which opens up a new world of forward-looking access solutions for vehicle manufacturers. Door opening becomes more comfortable due to lower operating forces or an electronic touch sensor on the door’s “outer skin”. This offers vehicle designers and vehicle manufacturers wide-ranging design options, including integration of the handle into the door or to dispensing with it altogether.

Today's excellENTRY has three motors to enable power child lock, double lock, lock/unlock and electric opening functions. In the future, only one motor will be required to cover all functions and the overall vehicle weight will be further reduced. The modular Kiekert excellENTRY also offers full mechanical or electrical redundancy to guarantee operation in the event of a power failure. excellENTRY has been in production with an European OEM since 2017.

Kiekert has continuously invested in the expansion of its research, prototype and production facilities in Wixom, Michigan, to serve growing customer’s needs in the USA. Mike Hietbrink, the company’s general manager for the U.S. and global sales director, said Kiekert will continue expanding U.S. manufacturing operations and plans to introduce a new seat back latch for backseats here as well. Hietbrink noted that Kiekert’s Wixom facilities will account for sales totaling $71 million this year, more than double 2015 sales of $29 million. Production of latch modules in Wixom this year will exceed 2.3 million units compared to 350,000 modules five years ago. The increased demand will have led to 30 new job openings at Kiekert’s Wixom facilities since 2018, including assemblers, supervisors and line leaders.

He added that Kiekert will introduce a new modular seat back latch system that will reduce engineering and design complexity for its OEM customers. There currently are four different latches used to adjust backseats. Kiekert’s new modular approach incorporates all four designs into a single system.

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About Kiekert AG –

Based in Heiligenhaus, Germany, Kiekert AG was founded in 1857 and is the worldwide market leader in automotive locking systems. With more than 6,500 employees in eight production, seven development and three sales centers in 11 countries, Kiekert develops, produces and sells various customer solutions. Turnover for the 2018 business year will be over 1 billion dollars. Kiekert Wixom plays a key role in the worldwide corporate Kiekert network: With a 41,000 square-foot facility in Wixom at Varsity Ct. and a R&D facility in Wixom at Liberty Drive Kiekert leads the engineering and program management activities for the NAFTA region and is a significant pillar of success for the Kiekert group: In 2018 Kiekert Wixom’s Product Development led a sales revenue of 316 million dollars, which equals 35.5 percent of Kiekert’s total revenue (turnover for the 2018 business year was over 1 billion dollars). Kiekert Wixom’s customer base includes the “Big Three” as well as the newer OEMs on the west coast. Moreover, several European and Asian customers located in the USA are supplied by the Kiekert group.