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January 08 www.bus-ex.com 53 Sometimes, the best ideas have very straightforward origins. “The customers wanted it, we came up with it and we’re the world leaders, now,” said Rod Nunn, president of KSR International. The ‘it’ he was talking about is adjustable pedals for automobiles. “Adjustable pedals allow a small person, someone who has to sit close to the steering wheel, to pull the pedals forward and move further away. Simply being able to sit at the proper distance from the steering wheel reduces the risk of injury from the wheel itself or from activating airbags.” Airbags are supposed to be safety equipment, but they can be dangerous. They’re designed to operate in a fraction of a second and to be fully inflated just before the driver hits them—but they’re not supposed to explode into their chest. Women, especially, seem to prefer adjustable pedals; the company gets 200 enquiries about them every day. “A lot of adjustable pedals are fitted to bigger vehicles, like SUVs and pick-up trucks. We supply them as original equipment to GM and Ford, especially, and we also sell to Jaguar, who we supply from a plant in the Czech Republic,” said Nunn. “Hyundai also fit adjustable pedals, which they make to our design and pay us a royalty for.” As well as its headquarters in Ridgetown, a small community between the Ontario towns of London and Windsor, there are two other plants in Canada; one in Brazil; another in China; a factory in Mexico; the facility in the Czech Republic; and a sales office in England. KSR also has licensing arrangements with companies in India and Turkey. “The price of labor certainly makes it cheaper to produce there than in Canada, especially since the rise of the Canadian dollar against the US currency,” he said. “But with the price of oil, President Rod Nunn tells Ruari McCallion about the innovations in brake, clutch and throttle technology behind the ongoing success of KSR International KSRInternational Takeabrake

54 www.bus-ex.com Janurary 08