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Toyota has previously honored the Hydro plant in Holland, Michigan, but never on this level.

"We know Toyota appreciates quality. We make sure that they get what they should expect from us," says Hans-Erik Kristiansson, who leads Hydro's aluminium automotive structures business.

The honor reflects positively on the competence and determination of Hydro's 200 employees at the Holland plant, says managing director Brian Ehler. The site is part of the company's network of suppliers of light-weight crash management components.

"This award from the world's largest automaker - known for extremely high quality standards – increases our confidence in the products and services that we deliver," he says. "Our standard is a very high standard. The quality level is on top in our industry."

Exceeding expectations

The award recognizes suppliers who exceed Toyota's expectations in the areas of launch performance, technology, supplier diversity, value improvement, quality and delivery.

Both Ehler and Kristiansson were invited as Toyota's special guests at the March ceremony. This year's event brought together some 500 suppliers from across North America.

"Toyota works closely with our North American suppliers in order to build our top quality vehicles; therefore, we take this opportunity to recognize outstanding performance of our top suppliers," says Toyota senior vice president Atsushi Kume. "Suppliers' commitment to continuous improvement is key to achieving Toyota's long-term focus on quality and value."

Hydro is the leading supplier of aluminium applications to the automotive industry and a technological leader in several fields: crash - or, impact - management, heat exchange tubing, powertrain and suspension parts.

The company delivers directly to OEMs as well as to tier suppliers in the industry. Its product range covers rolled aluminium – strip and sheet – and extruded aluminium solutions, depending on the application.

In the area of impact management, Hydro supplies extrusion-based components and systems. In fact, Hydro delivers more aluminium bumper beams to carmakers than any other company.

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