Tenneco Inc. (ticker: TEN, exchange: New York Stock Exchange) News Release
May 31, 2006
TENNECO WORKS WITH SUZUKI TO HELP CREATE THE UNIQUE SWIFT SPORT EXPERIENCE
Company supplies front module and rear shocks for Japanese production
KATOWICE, Poland, MAY 31, 2006 - Tenneco Inc. (NYSE: TEN) announced today that it is supplying the front strut module and rear shock for the new Suzuki Swift Sport launched in Japan. The sport version comes as an addition to the conventional suspension business for the Swift, which Tenneco was awarded in September 2003 and started production in January 2005.
The Swift Sport is the result of what the Japanese manufacturer describes as the outcome of extensive collaboration between Suzuki designers and engineers and the European automotive industry "in pursuit of Suzuki's best compact car ever". In order to engineer a suspension system which would respond to the manufacturers' desire to create a specific driving experience, Tenneco's state-of-the-art Monroe Engineering and Technology Centre (METC) in Belgium worked to create suspension components that provide a tight, sporty ride without sacrificing comfort. The result is a car described in the trade press as having a ride and handling combination among the best in its category.
"Product design, computer simulation, testing, ride work and tuning are core competencies of Tenneco's ride control business. These enable us to develop, produce and refine suspension solutions that match the specific ‘DNA' of any manufacturer's car," said Mark P. Frissora, Chairman and CEO, Tenneco Inc. "Our ride and tuning experts worked with Suzuki engineers and test drivers to pinpoint and define the true feeling that Suzuki wanted this limited edition specialized car to have."
Suzuki features the Monroe® logo on the Swift Sport's shocks and promotes the use of Monroe® replacement shock absorbers in the owner's manual. This demonstrates Suzuki's recognition of the brand equity Monroe® enjoys in the aftermarket, particularly since the primary objective of a replacement shock absorber is to maintain or restore the vehicle's original comfort, handling and braking characteristics. Tenneco's experience in manufacturing and tuning shock absorbers for volume vehicle production provides unique insight when supplying the replacement market with shock absorbers that can reproduce the original vehicle dynamics.
"We gained a lot of credibility with Suzuki working on the original Swift," said Colin Richardson, global ride and handling manager, Tenneco. "Suzuki wanted us to use our experience in tuning suspension for the sports compact category to produce a best-in-class model. The instant you get inside the car you feel like you're in something really special."
Ride work and tuning was done by Tenneco for the entire suspension, including the springs, dampers and tires.
The award of suspension component business for Suzuki's domestic production makes Suzuki the third Japanese customer to source Tenneco's European-produced shocks for export to Japan. Others include Nissan and Mazda.
Tenneco is a $4.4 billion manufacturing company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois and approximately 19,000 employees worldwide. Tenneco is one of the world's largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of emission control and ride control products and systems for the automotive original equipment market and the aftermarket. Tenneco markets its products principally under the Monroe®, Walker®, Gillet® and Clevite®Elastomer brand names. Among its products are Sensa-Trac® and Monroe Reflex® shocks and struts, Rancho® shock absorbers, Walker® Quiet-Flow® mufflers, Dynomax® performance exhaust products, and Clevite®Elastomer noise, vibration and harshness control components.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Words such as "will" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the current expectations of the company (including its subsidiaries). Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, the company's plans, actions and actual results could differ materially. Among the factors that could cause these plans, actions and results to differ materially from current expectations are: (i) changes in automotive manufacturers' production rates and their actual and forecasted requirements for the company's products and the company's resultant inability to realize the sales represented by its awarded book of business; (ii) changes in consumer demand and prices, including decreases in demand for automobiles which include the company's products and the potential negative impact on the company's revenues and margins from such products; (iii) the general regulatory, political, economic and competitive conditions in markets where the company and its subsidiaries operate; (iv) workforce factors such as strikes or labor interruptions; and (v) the timing and occurrence (or non-occurrence) of transactions and events which may be subject to circumstances beyond the control of the company and its subsidiaries. These and other factors are described in more detail in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in its Annual Report on Form 10-K. The company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.
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