TROY, MI – The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) announced the date, location, and theme for its 41st annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries. This year’s event will be held November 9, 2011, at Burton Manor in Livonia, MI.

Jeffrey Helms, Global Automotive Director, Ticona Engineering Polymers, who returns as the 2011 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Chair said, "This year’s competition and gala theme is ‘Passion to Innovate’, which really captures the excitement that’s in the air as the global automotive industry continues to recover from the 2008-2009 downturn.

“The level of innovation we’ve seen among nominations at the past few years’ competition – parts that would have been designed during the worst part of the recession – underscores how hard automakers and their suppliers are working to add function and value, improve aesthetics and durability, and reduce weight and cost on virtually every component throughout the vehicle. It’s an exciting time to be in the automotive plastics industry, and we’re eagerly anticipating our review of this year’s nominations for our 41st Automotive Innovation Awards Competition.”