Tenneco Automotive Inc. (ticker: TEN, exchange: New York Stock Exchange) News Release

April 1, 2000

 
TENNECO AUTOMOTIVE TAKES THE LEAD IN PROVIDING A MORE COMFORTABLE RIDE FOR SKODA FABIA CUSTOMERS

Original Equipment giant designs Monroe rear shock absorber for the all-new model.

Building on its long-term relationship with Skoda's parent company Volkswagen Group, engineers from Tenneco Automotive Europe have worked alongside the vehicle manufacturer's design team to produce an all-new rear shock absorber for the Fabia.

The shock absorber, which is 100 per cent produced by Tenneco Automotive under its Monroe brand, ensures a safer ride for Skoda customers. It features an all-new 30mm monotube designed specifically for the PQ24 platform on which the Fabia is based.

The modular mounting assembly of gas pressurised shock with bumpercap, bumper, dirt shield and top mounting is produced at Tenneco Automotive's facility at St Truiden in Belgium and Hodkovice plant in the Czech Republic.

Tenneco Automotive's investment in the new shock absorber has been extensive. New design and development processes have been implemented along with new style production lines to meet the full production target of 900,000 shock absorbers a year by the end of 2001.

This latest Ôpartnering' has involved daily contact between Tenneco Automotive's design and production team, consisting of 16 top engineers, and the developers of the car. The objective has been to produce a shock absorber that meets the stringent quality requirements set by the vehicle manufacturer combining safety, comfort and durability.

"Very high durability tests were used in developing this new shock absorber," says Luc Meekers, Tenneco Automotive's Team Director. "Skoda set the specifications in terms of machine and car testing and the team at St Truiden who led the development process had to work to very demanding schedules and deadlines to ensure delivery of the best possible product within the given parameters.

"All brands of the Volkswagen Group have set a target of using the best automotive parts in all its vehicles of the future," Mr Meekers adds. "Tenneco Automotive's objectives are the same for all our customers and the new shock absorber quite clearly fits under the umbrella of being a worldwide best product."

Shock absorbers play a key role in the comfort and safety of car drivers and their passengers. A good shock absorber, when working properly and not subject to wear and tear, ensures the tyre is kept in contact with the road resulting in shorter braking distances, reduces the danger of skidding when a vehicle is taking corners, minimises the risk of aquaplaning, improves steering, reduces tyre wear and ensures that ABS braking systems can operate 100% effectively.

The new Skoda Fabia went on sale in Britain in March. It has attracted positive media coverage for its ride control capabilities. The Fabia, which will have a choice of seven engines, is a five door hatchback with three equipment levels.

Editors Notes
Tenneco Automotive is a $3.3 billion manufacturing company headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, with 24,000 employees worldwide. Tenneco Automotive is one of the world's largest producers and marketers of ride control and exhaust systems and products, which are sold under the Monroe and Walker global brand names.

The company has 81 facilities in Europe, North America, Africa, South America, Australia and the Pacific region.

 

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