In recognition of meeting or exceeding stringent standards for supplying DaimlerChrysler Corp. with gaskets, seals and chassis products, Freudenberg-NOK's Manchester, N.H. facility was recently presented with the automaker's Gold Award for the fourth year in a row.

The award -- formerly called the Gold Pentastar Award -- recognizes suppliers who consistently achieve world-class performance in the areas of customer support, quality, delivery and minority sourcing.

The Freudenberg-NOK facility in Cleveland, Ga. also received the Gold Award for the fourth consecutive year.

"This award is truly a symbol of extraordinary achievement for the associates at Manchester," said Richard E. Allen, CEO of Freudenberg-NOK's Automotive Sector. "Through an on-going commitment to our company-wide lean systems program -- called GROWTTH -- our overall defective parts per million (PPM) rates have dropped to less than 100 and as the company continues to improve its processes through kaizen activities, we have targeted PPM rates this year of 25 or less."

Freudenberg-NOK's Manchester plant produces powertrain gaskets, bonded piston seals and chassis components such as microcellular polyurethane jounce bumpers and body mounts. The 150,000-square-foot plant employs approximately 550 associates.

Plymouth, Mich.-based Freudenberg-NOK is part of the Freudenberg and NOK Group Companies, which have total annual sales of nearly $7.0 billion. With global automotive sales of approximately $4 billion, the Freudenberg and NOK Group ranks among the world's top 20 automotive suppliers and is one of only eight in the top 100 that has global balance in each of the three major automotive markets -- Asia, Europe and North America.

Through a global network of facilities spanning 27 countries with some 23,000 automotive employees worldwide, the supplier group offers its automotive customers globally integrated products, including sealing packages for transmissions, engines, brakes, axles and steering, NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) components and packages, and all rubber, plastic and PTFE components for suspension, electrical and fuel systems.

The Freudenberg and NOK Group also offers an extensive portfolio of precision-molded products for the aerospace, appliance, business machine, fluid power, marine, medical, off-highway equipment and recreational vehicle markets. For more information, visit the Freudenberg-NOK web site at www.freudenberg-nok.com