Dorel Developing Revolutionary Technologies To Further Child Car Seat Safety
Montreal, Quebec - 5/26/2011
Dorel Industries (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) today announced that its U.S. juvenile products division has signed an exclusive agreement to further child car seat safety with a major supplier of racing seats for professional race car drivers. Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG), USA and Bald Spot Sports (BSS) will together research impact absorbing materials and occupant designs such as those used in Formula 1 and IndyCar cockpit crash protection. “We take the trust that parents place in Dorel seriously and therefore are always seeking ways to create a safer world for children,” Dorel President and CEO, Martin Schwartz, told shareholders attending today’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
Design engineers at DJG are drawing on Bald Spot’s motorsport safety R&D background to determine how best to utilize the proprietary technology used in their manufacture of race car cockpit crash materials. Preliminary evaluation and testing indicates the race car seat foam material, in combination with the geometrical shape the foam takes when applied to a car seat, is allowing side impact forces to be absorbed and directed away from the child occupant.
The foam has a proven track record in design flexibility and moulding and in providing greater strength in racing seat technology. It is used by 70-80% of Indy car drivers as well as on other professional race circuits such as NASCAR and Nationwide.
“As the global leader in our Juvenile categories we must continue to fund projects dedicated to maintaining our leadership in safety and innovative design. This is the type of forward thinking that sets us apart from the competition. We have a responsibility to design products with the highest standards of quality and safety,” commented Mr. Schwartz.
"For years, we have been helping professional racers manage the risk that comes with the speed and adrenaline rush of their profession. The technology behind our race seats and products helps absorb the forces of multiple impacts and increase their chance of walking away from a crash,” said Travis Cobb, Partner at Bald Spot Sports. “We are excited to explore how we can bring this technology to protecting kids every day in real world situations.”
New concept car seat launched
Another example of the Center’s most recent work is Dorel’s FlexTech Energy Management, a next generation energy management technology that has been incorporated in a newly launched car seat called the S1 RumiTM Air. This new flex technology truss system serves as the seat’s inner frame and compensates for the differences in how children of different ages and sizes behave during a crash by managing the crash forces and transferring the energy away from the child. The seat’s truss system is a methodology used by architects to provide flexibility and distribute forces within structures.
The car seat’s frame also has the capacity for an increased weight range of the child. FlexTech is much like the chassis of a car which can accommodate multiple body styles or, in this case, multiple car seat designs. There will be derivatives of this advanced technology which provides Dorel with an important edge over other car seat manufacturers. The technology will also allow for quick and easy adaptation, thus getting advancements to the marketplace faster.
The RumiTM is now available on an exclusive basis at Babies R US in the U.S. and at BRU locations in Canada in early July.
Bike business also benefitting from R&D
In his presentation to shareholders, Mr. Schwartz also outlined Dorel’s commitment to driving growth in its bicycle brands by designing exceptional products and expanding the business globally. A number of new models were premiered including:
• The Cannondale Jekyll Ultimate mountain bike, equipped with industry-leading advanced technology, featuring a combination of climbing expertise and downhill capabilities.
• The Schwinn Vestige. Designed to have a minimal impact on the environment; the frame is built from natural bio- degradable flax fibres, the fenders are bamboo and the paint is water soluble. The Vestige was first shown last year at Eurobike and won the Gold design award in the urban category.
• Cannondale’s Super Six Team Edition - the bike Team Liquigas-Cannondale is currently riding in the Giro D’Italia race. Weighing only 6.5 kilos, the SuperSix integrates some of the industry’s finest components and is engineered to win.
Visibility of the Cannondale brand is growing in Europe as Dorel has substantially ramped up its commitment to pro cycling. Cannondale is now a Co-Title sponsor of Team Liquigas-Cannondale. The Giro d’Italia, one of the three Grand Tours, is currently underway and Liquigas-Cannondale has a strong team competing, headed by Vincenzo Nibali. They won last year’s event.
Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) is a world class juvenile products and bicycle company. Established in 1962, Dorel creates style and excitement in equal measure to safety, quality and value. The Company’s lifestyle leadership position is pronounced in both its Juvenile and Bicycle categories with an array of trend-setting products. Dorel’s powerfully branded products include Safety 1st, Quinny, Cosco, Maxi-Cosi and Bébé Confort in Juvenile, as well as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, IronHorse and SUGOI in Recreational/Leisure. Dorel’s Home Furnishings segment markets a wide assortment of furniture products, both domestically produced and imported. Dorel is a US$2.3 billion company with 4700 employees, facilities in nineteen countries, and sales worldwide.
Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, Dorel does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions which give rise to the possibility that actual results could differ materially from Dorel’s expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements and that the objectives, plans, strategic priorities and business outlook may not be achieved. As a result, Dorel cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize. Forward-looking statements are provided in this press release for the purpose of giving information about Management’s current expectations and plans and allowing investors and others to get a better understanding of Dorel’s operating environment. However, readers are cautioned that it may not be appropriate to use such forward- looking statements for any other purpose.
Forward-looking statements made in this press release are based on a number of assumptions that Dorel believed were reasonable on the day it made the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements include: general economic conditions; changes in product costs and supply channel; foreign currency fluctuations; customer and credit risk including the concentration of revenues with few customers; costs associated with product liability; changes in income tax legislation or the interpretation or application of those rules; the continued ability to develop products and support brand names; changes in the regulatory environment; continued access to capital resources and the related costs of borrowing; changes in assumptions in the valuation of goodwill and other intangible assets and subject to dividends being declared by the Board of Directors, there can be no certainty that Dorel’s Dividend Policy will be maintained. These and other risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements are discussed in Dorel’s annual MD&A and Annual Information Form filed with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities. The risk factors outlined in the previously mentioned documents are specifically incorporated herein by reference.
Dorel cautions readers that the risks described above are not the only ones that could impact it. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to Dorel or that Dorel currently deems to be immaterial may also have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward- looking statements as a prediction of actual results.
Except as otherwise indicated, forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any non-recurring or other unusual items or of any dispositions, mergers, acquisitions, other business combinations or other transactions that may be announced or that may occur after the date hereof. The financial impact of these transactions and non-recurring and other unusual items can be complex and depends on the facts particular to each of them. Dorel therefore cannot describe the expected impact in a meaningful way or in the same way Dorel presents known risks affecting the business.