Dorel Juvenile Group Plans New State-of-the-Art Car Seat Design and Development Competency Center in Columbus, Indiana

New US$21 million investment will further Dorel's global car seat leadership position

Jan 19, 2010, 08:30 ET from Dorel Industries

MONTREAL and COLUMBUS, Ind., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dorel Industries (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) today announced plans to build a Design and Development Competency Center at its Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG) USA car seat manufacturing facility in Columbus, Indiana.  The project is the first major milestone in Dorel's car seat product capital investment program and involves a total investment of US$20.8 million through 2013.  DJG will immediately spend US$3.6 million and will add 39 jobs at its Columbus facility with a total of 98 jobs being created over the next four years.

"The development of this world class technology center with specialized research and design facilities will further Dorel's leadership position as the largest manufacturer of car seats globally and will drive ongoing technical advancements and innovations for child passenger safety," stated Dorel President and CEO, Martin Schwartz.  

This past year, Dorel's team of car seat engineers launched Air Protect™ Side Impact Technology, the most innovative and ground-breaking safety feature ever offered in a car seat.  

The Design and Development Competency Center will be located adjacent to Dorel's current one million square foot car seat manufacturing facility.  The expansion project will renovate 40,000 square feet of office and warehouse space, doubling the space dedicated to child restraint systems design and development.  The new center will house cutting-edge resources to aid in the development of future car seat technological breakthroughs.  A revolutionary new crash test sled, dedicated computational engineering resources, and advanced side impact testing capabilities are just some of the dynamic assets to be included.

"We take great pride in the continued innovation and advancements our team has made in the car seat industry, most recently with the launch of the ground-breaking Air Protect Side Impact Technology," said Dave Taylor, President of Dorel Juvenile Group US.  "The new Design and Development Competency Center will enable us to bring additional leading car seat technologies to more families on the road today."

"Dorel's decision to expand its development and testing operations here is an incredible vote of confidence in the Indiana economy and the work force of Columbus," said Governor Mitch Daniels.  "We appreciate their continued investment in this region and look forward to the new opportunities they will bring Indiana workers."  

Ninety percent of Dorel car seats and 50 percent of the DJG USA's total business are currently produced and distributed from the Columbus, Indiana facility.  In addition, expansion with Dorel's new Competency Center will improve the community's economic development through the addition of new jobs and will highlight the area as a center for child passenger safety innovation.

About Dorel Industries

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 Bebe Confort in Juvenile, as well as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, Iron Horse 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$2.2 billion company with 4700 employees, facilities in eighteen countries, and sales worldwide.  

SOURCE Dorel Industries