Based on its recent analysis of the European commercial vehicle wiper blades aftermarket, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Valeo with the 2021 European New Product Innovation Award. Valeo, under the SWF brand, is the first and only Original Equipment supplier (OES) to offer a uniquely designed wiper blade for the Mercedes-Benz (MB) Actros MP5 in the independent aftermarket (IAM). Its patented connectors address the wiper blade’s fitting needs, while its design is distinct from the OE versions to prevent counterfeiting.
“The wiper blade in the Actros MP5 has a unique fitting because MB patented its connector to prevent the aftermarket from replicating its wiper blade product,” said Avijit Ghosh, Director of Consulting at Frost & Sullivan. “Valeo’s product exactly matches the OE version’s fit, form, and function except for the MB-patented connector. As Valeo also supplies the OE version of the same wiper blade, customers can be rest assured that the product meets all OE specifications.”
The entire wiper blade structure is metal-based combined with enduring rubber, ensuring the product’s durability and robustness. Valeo also performs several rigorous tests during the development to produce high-quality wiper blades. It conducts factory bench tests consistently for several weeks under difficult or varying conditions, such as with saltwater, at freezing temperatures using ice, at extremely high temperatures using dust, and in harsh monsoon conditions.
Valeo and SWF are also OE wiper blade suppliers to all major CV OEMs in Europe, including MB, DAF trucks, MAN truck and bus, and also offers a few part numbers for Renault and Volvo. The company also pioneered specific wiper blade connectors for Scania R&S, offering aftermarket wiper blade solutions with Scania-patented connectors. Truck owners/fleet operators have shown a preference for its IAM SWF product because it is easy to install, requiring only 5 to 10 minutes.
“Valeo sells wiper blades under the SWF and Valeo Optiblade brands in the CV aftermarket. SWF and Valeo’s manufacturing and testing standards and superior steel, rubber, and paint used on the blades ensure high durability in all weather conditions,” noted Ghosh. “The company’s customer focus and forward-looking strategies are expected to ensure its continued growth in the European market.”
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased return on investment (ROI) it gives customers, which, in turn, raises customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
Valeo (valeo.com | valeoservice.com) is a French global automotive supplier headquartered in France, partner to all automakers worldwide. As a technology company, Valeo proposes innovative products and systems that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the development of intuitive driving. In 2020, the Group generated sales of 16.4 billion euros and invested 12% ofits original equipment sales in Research and Development. At December 31, 2020, Valeo had 187 plants, 20 research centers, 43 development centers and 15 distribution platforms, and employed 110,300 people in 33 countries worldwide. Valeo is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.