Dräxlmaier Wins Unconventional Thinker Award 2013

22. November 2013 – Munich/Vilsbiburg, 22. November 2013. – On Thursday evening, the Dräxlmaier Group was honored with the “Unconventional Thinker 2013” award in the category of Sustainability, for their BMW i3 door panel. At the BMW World in Munich, the jury recognized the successful market introduction of the automotive supplier’s “visible nature” interior concept as a pioneering achievement.

“With the BMW i3 door panel, we were able to establish a vehicle interior using visible natural fiber surfaces made from renewable raw materials, and to successfully position this in the market,” said Dr. Tobias Nickel, Head of Marketing and Communication for the Dräxlmaier Group, at the presentation of the 2013 Unconventional Thinker Award by Otmar Ehrl, leader of the Unconventional Thinker Jury, in the BMW World in Munich.

“Customers can see the natural structure of the processed kenaf plant in the BMW i3 electrical vehicle, can feel it and identify with it,” according to Dr. Isabella Schmiedel, head of Preliminary Interior Development at Dräxlmaier. Furthermore, by using renewable raw materials, the consumption of petroleum-based plastics is substantially reduced, and a weight reduction of up to 20% compared to standard door panels is achieved.

Not only the jury, with members such as journalist Nina Ruge, futurist Prof. Peter Wippermann, publisher Dr. Florian Langenscheidt and astronaut Prof. Ulrich Walter, was impressed by this – the “Querdenker Club” was as well. This online community has more than 300,000 members throughout Germany, and in an internet vote selected the Dräxlmaier Group for first place in the category of sustainability, with the Lower Bavarian automotive supplier winning over four other finalists.

According to the Querdenker Club, these “Unconventional Thinker (Querdenker) Awards” are given each year to companies, social institutions and individuals for their outstanding ideas and innovations. The award recognizes courage, creativity, inventiveness, imagination, and passion, which are all too often given scant attention in the country of poets and (unconventional) thinkers. Together with the top-class jury, the members of the Querdenker Club vote on the winners. The results of the voting are announced at the formal awards ceremony, attended by personalities from society, the sciences, politics and the media.

The “Querdenker Club” is a prize winner in the competition “Ideas for the Republic of Education 2013/2014,” awarded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.



The DRÄXLMAIER Group supplies premium automobile manufacturers worldwide with complex wiring harness systems, central electrical and electronic components, exclusive interiors, and storage systems for electric mobility. The combination of core competencies in the interior, electrical, electronic and storage systems areas makes DRÄXLMAIER unique in the industry. The company thereby covers the entire process chain, from the initial idea, through the development and production process, and up to precisely in-sequence delivery of the products to the assembly lines of premium automobile manufacturers. The inventor of the customer-specific wiring harness, the DRÄXLMAIER Group develops pioneering wiring harness technology as well as electrical and electronic components, all directly in-house. These include multi-voltage and high-voltage wiring harness systems, battery management systems, and intelligent power distributors. DRÄXLMAIER is working on the future of emission-free mobility with its solution for low-voltage and high-voltage storage systems. As a market leader for interior systems in premium automobiles, the DRÄXLMAIER Group also supplies premium automobile manufacturers with ambient lighting, center consoles, door panels and instrument panels, as well as complete door and cockpit modules.

The DRÄXLMAIER Group is an international automotive supplier with more than 60  sites in over 20 countries. Founded in Germany in 1958, the company employs about  75,000 employees throughout the world. For the DRÄXLMAIER Group as an owner-managed business, responsible and long-range thinking has always been the basis for economic success. It is therefore a core element of its strategy to design its business and production processes, as well as its products, in a more sustainable manner and in that way to increase the competitiveness of the company on a long-term basis.

In 2019, the DRÄXLMAIER Group generated sales of 4.9 billion euro. Customers of this member of the Top 100 Automotive Suppliers include Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Porsche and Volkswagen, as well as Californian automotive manufacturers.


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