Press Releases

Tenneco Automotive Wins TransCom USA Fleet Business; Distributor Sells Walker Exhaust and Monroe Ride Control Products Exclusively

February 29, 2000

LAKE FOREST, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 29, 2000--Tenneco Automotive (NYSE: TEN) today announced it has reached an agreement to supply Walker(R) heavy-duty exhaust and Monroe(R) heavy-duty ride control equipment to TransCom USA's approximately 100 locations across the United States and in Canada.

Tenneco Automotive's top of the line heavy-duty exhaust product is the Walker(R) Mega-Flow(TM) muffler, specifically designed for Class 7 and 8 vehicles. The company's top heavy-duty ride control product is the Monroe(R) Gas-Magnum(R) shock absorber. TransCom USA will offer these products exclusively at its North American locations.

TransCom USA is a distributor of replacement parts and supplies for commercial trucks, trailers and other heavy-duty vehicles and equipment. TransCom USA also provides its customers with value-added services such as parts installation and repair. The company's more than 20,000 customers include nationwide common carrier and private vehicle fleets, independent repair shops, resellers, municipal and other government entities and specialty original equipment manufacturers.

"Tenneco Automotive is extremely pleased to provide TransCom USA with high quality Walker(R) and Monroe(R) products for their fleet and other heavy-duty vehicle customers in North America," said Bill Laughlin, Tenneco Automotive's general manager - heavy-duty and specialty products. "TransCom USA has rapidly built itself into a heavy-duty products distribution powerhouse with significant market penetration throughout the United States.

"Their sales programs at all levels of distribution will bring Tenneco Automotive's Walker(R) and Monroe(R) heavy-duty products into contact with a new range of customers, and we'll be working together on extensive marketing initiatives."

TransCom USA was launched in June 1998 when nine regional heavy-duty parts distributors joined forces. Since that time, nine additional companies were acquired by TransCom USA. The TransCom USA venture has grown rapidly as a single-source preferred provider for replacement parts for national and regional fleet operators, and is nationally recognized as a seller of major branded heavy-duty aftermarket parts to the $20-billion plus heavy-duty parts and service market.

"We're thrilled to have Tenneco Automotive as a major supplier, and believe its Walker(R) and Monroe(R) brands will make a solid sales impact with our many customers, providing both the brand name appeal, and the high quality products they expect," said TransCom USA's Senior Vice President - Merchandising Dan Bucaro. "The Walker(R) and Monroe(R) product lines also fit our strategy of achieving line commonality to improve inventory utilization as we further develop national and regional marketing programs. Obviously, we think that TransCom USA and Tenneco Automotive, with Walker(R) and Monroe(R) heavy-duty products, make a perfect fit for long-term growth."

Since achieving rapid growth and critical mass via acquisition, TransCom USA has intensified its focus on integrating its operations and optimizing its large volume of inventory across a wide variety of customer vehicles and equipment. The company also has a broad strategy of achieving leadership in the use of information technology for automating sales, purchasing and inventory management.

The Walker(R) Mega-Flow(TM) heavy-duty muffler, along with associated exhaust system parts, is now TransCom USA's exclusive heavy-duty muffler offering. The Walker(R) Mega-Flow(TM) helps heavy-duty vehicles maximize engine performance, provides corrosion resistance and offers excellent acoustics. It combines Walker(R) quality and engineering with advanced exhaust technology and offers unparalleled performance. Mega-Flow's(TM) straight-through, three-chamber, open style design achieves as much as a 30 percent backpressure reduction and an excellent acoustic reading, resulting in potential fuel efficiencies and mileage improvement. The Mega-Flow(TM) also is backed by a 4-year/500,000 mile warranty, plus a 60-day Safe & Sound Guarantee.

Tenneco Automotive's technologically advanced Monroe(R) Gas-Magnum(R) shock absorber for heavy-duty applications is designed for improved vehicle ride, safety and control. Gas-Magnum(R) shocks are valved and designed specifically for heavy-duty applications using a proven gas-charged design and high performance features. The Gas-Magnum(R) durable twin-tube construction reduces vehicle sway and dramatically softens hard bumps, improving driver comfort and safety. Monroe(R) Gas-Magnum(R) shocks come with a 2-year/200,000 mile warranty and a 60-day free ride guarantee.

"The entry of Walker(R) and Monroe(R) heavy duty products into the TransCom USA distribution system is an exciting proposition for Tenneco Automotive," Laughlin said. "TransCom USA's potential to cross-sell Tenneco Automotive products to a variety of customers, including rental vehicle fleets, common carriers, OEMs and others, is tremendous. This new business is great for Tenneco Automotive's heavy-duty aftermarket business, and for our total aftermarket business."

Tenneco Automotive's heavy-duty Walker(R) exhaust equipment is manufactured in Seward, Neb., and Harrisonburg, Va. The company's heavy-duty Monroe(R) ride control equipment is manufactured in Paragould, Ark.

Tenneco Automotive is a $3.3 billion automotive and transportation manufacturing company headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., 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(R) and Walker(R) global brand names. Among Tenneco Automotive products are Sensa-trac(R) and Reflex(TM) shocks and struts, Rancho(R) shock absorbers, Walker(R) Quiet-Flow(R) mufflers and DynoMax(TM) performance exhaust products, and Monroe(R) Clevite(R) vibration control components.