DURA Automotive Systems Is Shifting Us Into The Future

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

The company began 100 years ago in Toledo, Ohio as the primary supplier for the Milburn Light Electric vehicle.  Today, DURA Automotive Systems is a major player in the global automotive industry.  Their parts and systems can be found in over 300 vehicle models on the road today.

DURA’s world headquarters is based at 1780 Pond Run in the City of Auburn Hills.  We recently visited with them and learned that they employ 235 people here at their 78,000 sq. ft. hub of innovation.  It’s noted that DURA is a very large automotive supplier that consists of more than 12,000 people in 35 manufacturing operations in 15 countries worldwide.

Some of their state-of-the-art products include gear shifters and driver controls, interior and exterior trim features (like LED illumination and electronics integrated into the trim), power sliding door technology, and lightweight aluminum doors and frames.

DURA is best known for their driver control and shifter systems.

DURA is best known for their driver control and shifter systems.

Many cars in the future will have this sliding door technology created by DURA.  It will allow easy "hands free" access to vehicles and reduce a lot car door dents.  It will also be the world's first power sliding door with no exterior guide tracks.  So, it will not only provide great function, it will look attractive.

Many cars in the future will have this sliding door technology created by DURA. It will allow easy “hands free” access to vehicles and reduce a lot car door dents. It will also be the world’s first power sliding door with no exterior guide tracks. So, it will not only provide great function, it will look attractive.

Soon you will be able to unlock and start your car with your cell phone or smart watch thanks to DURA engineers.  You could even text or e-mail your car key to a friend or family member.  Amazing!

Soon you will be able to unlock and start your car with your cell phone or smart watch thanks to DURA engineers. You could even text or e-mail your car key to a friend or family member. Amazing!

It’s pretty cool that many of these technological advances – which get implemented in vehicles around the world – are envisioned, tested, and developed right here in the City of Auburn Hills.

(Editor’s Note:  We’re pleased to report that this story will be our 500th post since the start of the Developing Thoughts blog in February 2012.  We’ll strive to provide many more posts about this extraordinary City into the future.  Thank you for following us … and reading.)