PARIS, Sept. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ESI Group, pioneer and world-leading solution provider in Virtual Prototyping  for manufacturing industries, is proud to announce that MECAS ESI , the Czech subsidiary of the group, has been awarded "Company of the Year" by the Czech Automotive Association, AutoSAP .

Founded in 1989, the Automotive Industry Association (AIA) represents the interests of the Czech ground transportation manufacturers, their suppliers, other companies and institutions involved in the Czech automotive industry.

On September 4, 2013, in Prague, Vladimir Volák, member of AutoSAP's Steering Committee and Zdenek Novak, Internal Relations Manager, Deputy Director of AutoSAP, jointly delivered the "Company of the Year" award to Karel Lunacek, COO of MECAS ESI.

This award highlights the contribution of ESI to the successful development of the Czech automotive industry during the past two decades. ESI Group started collaborating with leading Czech carmaker ŠKODA as early as the mid 90's; supporting the fine-tuning of the crash performance of the first generation ŠKODA Octavia. These were the first industrial scale crash simulations performed in the Czech Republic.

In the following years, ESI started working with the Czech Vehicle Research Center and several of ŠKODA's suppliers, including the design company Swell and the engineering services branch of Evektor. ESI also initiated long-standing relationships with highly regarded Czech Universities such as the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, and the Technical University of Liberec.

In 2001, ESI acquired its Czech distributor, Mecas, and created the local subsidiary MECAS ESI, based in Pilsen. This new entity became responsible for the development of the Group in the whole of Eastern Europe.

Initially focusing on crash performance, ESI's work in the Czech Republic soon included stamping simulations, enabling material properties and the chained effects of manufacturing processes to be taken into account when building Virtual Prototypes. From this start, MECAS ESI progressively expanded the scope of their competencies, which now include advanced CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation services.

Today, strengthened by collaborative work, the Czech Automotive industry has gained global competitiveness and delivers cars rated amongst the safest in the world. Indeed, the crash performance of ŠKODA's vehicles have been rated 5 stars at EuroNCAP several years in a row and attest to the success of the Czech Automotive industry.

About ESI Group       

ESI is a pioneer and world-leading provider in Virtual Prototyping that takes into account the physics of materials. ESI boasts a unique know-how in Virtual Product Engineering, based on an integrated suite of coherent, industry-oriented applications. Addressing manufacturing industries, Virtual Product Engineering aims to replace physical prototypes by realistically simulating a product's behavior during testing, to fine-tune fabrication and assembly processes in accordance with desired product performance, and to evaluate the impact on product use under normal or accidental conditions. ESI's solutions fit into a single collaborative and open environment for End-to-End Virtual Prototyping. These solutions are delivered using the latest technologies, including immersive Virtual Reality, to bring products to life in 3D; helping customers make the right decisions throughout product development. The company employs about 1000 high-level specialists worldwide covering more than 40 countries. ESI Group is listed in compartment C of NYSE Euronext Paris.

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CONTACT: ESI Group - Media Relations         Celine Gallerne         T: +33 (0)6 22 74 69 67

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