Lacks Enterprises Recognized for Altair Enlighten Award for Toyota Sienna Composite Wheel Trim

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., August 2, 2022 – Lacks Enterprises Inc. today was named the runner-up in the 10th annual Altair Enlighten Award’s prestigious Sustainable Product Category for its innovative wheel trim system for the 2022 Toyota Sienna.

Kurt Lacks Jr., Executive Director of Business Development, accepted the award from Altair earlier today at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.

Presented in association with CAR, the Altair Enlighten Award honors the greatest sustainability and lightweighting advancements that successfully reduce carbon footprint, mitigate water and energy consumption, and leverage material reuse and recycling efforts. The Sustainable Product category award recognizes emissions, light-weighting and safety advances for current production vehicle (or major system modules fitted to a current production vehicle).

“It’s a genuine honor to be recognized for our Lacks Wheel Trim system’s weight-reduction capability,” said Kurt Lacks Jr. “This award speaks to the effectiveness of the technology, which is applicable to gasoline-powered and electric vehicles, where weight reduction, without compromising durability, is critical to improving fuel efficiency.”

The Lacks Wheel Trim System designed for the Toyota Sienna is the only wheel technology of its kind on the market that reduces unsprung weight—the mass of the suspension, wheels and other components directly connected to them. The system’s innovative light-weighting wheel technology has been recognized in a joint Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report titled “Midterm Evaluation of Light-duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for Model Years 2022-2025.”

“The winners of this year’s Enlighten Award – which mark the award’s 10th anniversary – showcase the latest revolutionary technology that reduces carbon footprint, minimizes waste, and maximizes renewable energy,” said Richard Yen, senior vice president, global industry verticals and sales enablement team, Altair. “We hope this award continues to inspire future generations to ‘think light’ for many decades to come.”

Lacks Enterprises developed the Sienna wheel with a weight-optimized aluminum wheel backbone. The Sienna’s wheels, produced in Lacks’ Grand Rapids manufacturing facility, feature Lacks’ composite design surface finish and lightweight reduction technology, which allows trim level differentiation using different wheel designs and finishes on the same wheel backbone.

The wheel design surface is permanently bonded to the wheel backbone, which increases design freedom and reduces overall wheel weight, improves fuel efficiency and increases entire drive system longevity. The entire wheel system is extremely heat resistant, withstanding high temperatures produced during hard braking.

“The wheel trim system creates an expanded canvas for evolving wheel design,” Kurt Lacks Jr. said. “We provide automakers with an expanse of trim-level differentiation that increases vehicle brand and design value at a reduced cost. We like to say that our wheel system technology expands the OEM designer’s imagination.”

By enabling a variety of finish options on the same wheel backbone, Lacks’ technology requires only a single validated wheel backbone, which saves time and reduces tooling costs.

Lacks Wheel Trim Systems partners with all major OEM aluminum wheel manufacturers and has sold more than 50 million wheels in North America.

Lacks Enterprises is the fourth largest privately held employer in West Michigan, and has more than 2,500 people at facilities in Grand Rapids and Novi, Mich., as well as Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea. Lacks business units—Lacks Trim Systems, Lacks Wheel Trim Systems and Plastic Plate, LLC—specialize in applying Lacks’ innovative décor finishes, production experience and testing capacity to the unique needs of its customers.

For more information on the Altair Enlighten Award and to see the full list of winners, please

About Lacks Enterprises, Inc.
Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., Lacks Enterprises, Inc. was formed in 1961. A Tier One supplier to the automotive industry, the company has grown to become a technology leader worldwide with diversified operations that provide complete turnkey solutions that rely on decades of experience in thermoplastic design, injection molding, chrome plating, painting, assembly, logistics and supply chain management. Lacks also provides global export and distribution capabilities.