Advanced Suspension System Enhances Vehicle Stability and Handling
LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS - BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, November 14, 2003 - The Xsaras that gave Citroen the Manufacturer's title in the World Rally Championship, one of the world's most demanding motorsports competitions, set itself apart from the field with patented Kinetic® technology provided by Tenneco Automotive (NYSE: TEN).
In the rigorous on- and off-road conditions of the World Rally Championship (WRC), the Kinetic technology gave the Citroen team more even wheel loading, consistent handling and improved traction, allowing the drivers to attack with confidence over constantly changing surfaces ranging from dry pavement to snowy gravel. The Citroen team has an exclusive license to use the Kinetic RFS system in the World Rally Championship and has employed the technology on all entries since the highly successful technology debut in Monaco where the Citroen cars took all three podium places.
"The Citroen team's success highlights the outstanding performance of our Kinetic technology, which provides the best of both worlds in terms of comfort and handling," said Mark P. Frissora, chairman and CEO, Tenneco Automotive. "We are very excited that our breakthrough Kinetic advanced suspension has helped the Citroen team to succeed in this prestigious international race competition."
Tenneco Automotive's Kinetic Suspension System is designed to offer vehicle stability and improved drivability through a principle called mode decoupling - the system's inherent ability to distinguish between roll motion and articulation motion. This capability enables the vehicle designer to increase the vehicle's roll stiffness to reduce body roll and improve handling, without the typical trade-off of ride comfort degradation. The system passively interconnects the front and rear stabilizers of the vehicle in order to optimize suspension performance in both on and off-road environments. On road, the system's greater roll stiffness delivers crisper handling when needed, while at the same time provides a smoother ride over bumpy road surfaces. More challenging off-road driving is also easier and more comfortable with the Kinetic system due to enhanced wheel travel and articulation freedom.
Tenneco Automotive engineers worked directly with Citroen's chassis engineers to develop the system for racing, which can also be adapted to meet the ride and handling demands of on-road consumers.
"One of the Xsara's strong points is its capacity to adapt quickly from one terrain to another," said driver Sebastien Loeb, who took a solid second place in the final event to secure the championship for Citroen. "Its balance is simply remarkable."
The advantages provided by the Kinetic system in competition use are equally appropriate for passenger car use. The system works without sensors, pumps or valves - a simple passive system that can be easily introduced to enhance the performance of any vehicle.
"We are also bringing this technology to our customers so they can offer the same comfort and handling benefits that the Xsara drivers experienced in the World Rally Championship," Frissora said.
The first production use of the Kinetic Reversible Function Stabilizer suspension technology will be on the 2004 Lexus GX 470 sport utility vehicle. Toyota is offering a version of the technology as an option on the SUV through a licensing agreement with Tenneco Automotive.
Tenneco Automotive is a $3.5 billion manufacturing company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois and approximately 19,600 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 Monroe Reflex® shocks and struts, Rancho® shock absorbers, Walker® Quiet-Flow® mufflers and DynoMax® performance exhaust products, and Monroe® Clevite® vibration 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) the general political, economic and competitive conditions in markets and countries where the company and its subsidiaries operate, including currency fluctuations and other risks associated with operating in foreign countries; (ii) changes in automotive manufacturers' production rates and their actual and forecasted requirements for the company's products, including the company's resultant inability to realize the sales represented by its awarded book of business; (iii) 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; and (iv) 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. Other factors that could cause the company's plans and results to differ materially from current expectations are described in the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002, to which you are referred for additional information. The company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.
Tenneco Automotive, Media Relations
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Tenneco Automotive Europe, Media Relations
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