Company Initiates Worldwide Effort to Improve Manufacturing and Distribution Efficiency
LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS, DECEMBER 20, 2001 - Tenneco Automotive (NYSE: TEN) announced today that the company has received approval from its board of directors to begin implementing the first phase of a company-wide initiative to optimize its global manufacturing, distribution, and logistics footprint.
"Our goal is to better manage our operating costs worldwide in order to help strengthen the company's competitiveness and profitability," said Mark P. Frissora, chairman and CEO, Tenneco Automotive. "The objectives of this and future phases are to maximize our capacity utilization by leaning out and redesigning our manufacturing facilities, and to improve our distribution efficiency worldwide."
Actions related to this initiative may include consolidating operations, transferring operations between facilities, rearranging operational flow within specific plants, and increasing standardization among processes and products. Tenneco Automotive will record charges totalling $32 million in the fourth quarter of 2001 to cover the cost of the first phase actions, which are expected to generate $29 million in annualized savings starting in 2004. The fourth quarter charge will be excluded from the company's debt covenant calculations as negotiated with the company's senior lenders. The company expects to incur additional costs during 2002 related to these first phase actions that could range between $10 million and $15 million. Future phases, which still need to be finalized, will require approval by the company's board of directors and will likely require senior lender approval as well.
"This effort is a part of our ongoing strategy to align our businesses with current and future market needs. We have taken a clean sheet approach in evaluating how we operate, and are making fundamental changes that will enable our employees to serve our customers more effectively," said Frissora. "With a global infrastructure already in place, this initiative will help us take the next step of standardizing our processes and products on a worldwide basis."
The company will carry out all activities, including workforce reductions, that may occur as a result of this initiative in compliance with all applicable legal and contractual requirements, including informing and consulting with workers' councils, union representatives, and others. Any Tenneco Automotive employees affected by restructuring activities will be eligible for severance benefits in accordance with applicable policies of Tenneco Automotive, as well as applicable collective bargaining agreements and domestic legal requirements and practices.
The goal of this initiative is to build on the strategy the company has already implemented to improve its long-term profitability. Since becoming an independent company in November 1999, Tenneco Automotive has made significant progress in generating cash and paying down debt, largely through working capital and SGA&E improvements, as well as through implementing a process approach to managing its businesses.
Tenneco Automotive is a $3.5 billion manufacturing company headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., with 23,000 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. Among its products are Sensa-Trac® and Reflex™ shocks and struts, Rancho® shock absorbers, Walker® Quiet-Flow™ mufflers and DynoMax™ performance exhaust products, and Monroe® Clevite™ vibration control components.
Tenneco Automotive, Media relations
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