TOKYO, JAPAN, FEBRUARY 15, 2007 – Tenneco Inc. (NYSE: TEN) is focusing on growth with Japan-based original equipment customers, said Gregg Sherrill, the company's new chairman and CEO. Sherrill is hosting a press briefing today, following a week of customer meetings in Japan, to outline its long-term expansion plans with the Japanese OEMs.
"One of our key growth strategies is to expand our business with Japan-based customers, some of the fastest growing original equipment manufacturers worldwide, said Sherrill. "Our advanced ride and emission control technologies, a sharp focus on development and platform launch performance, and Tenneco's commitment to quality and customer support are driving new contracts with these customers."
Tenneco now serves Japanese customers in 14 countries and the revenue from Japanese OEMs accounted for 10% of Tenneco's 2006 global original equipment revenues and 20% of North American original equipment revenue. The company anticipates this growth will continue with an expected 32% increase in global OE revenue from Japanese customers by 2008.
The company continues to make progress on becoming a development partner with customers in Japan. Tenneco has been named a development supplier in Japan on four different platforms with vehicles that will be produced in Asia, Europe and North America.
One industry analyst (Global Insight) predicts that roughly 34% of global light-duty vehicle production growth over the next 10 years will be generated by the Japanese OEMs.
"Our goal is to increase our business with fast-growing OEMs so that the revenues we generate from these customers roughly match their global market share," said Sherrill. "This growth will be driven by increasingly stringent emissions regulations worldwide and the increase in diesel powered vehicles, which create demand for our hot-end emission control capabilities and diesel aftertreatment technologies. The growth in our ride control business comes from customers who are looking for improved handling and stability and unique ride characteristics that help differentiate their vehicles."
Some of the company's recent launch successes include the Toyota Tundra in North America and the Suzuki Swift in Japan and Europe. Tenneco is one of just 18 on-site suppliers to Toyota's Tundra, which is assembled in San Antonio, Texas. The company invested in two new facilities to supply the full exhaust system on the vehicle and introduced a new advanced laser welding technology designed to reduce muffler weight and lower material costs.
Tenneco also saw great success last year with its ride control components, front strut module and rear shock, on the Suzuki Swift Sport, launched in Japan and Europe. Close collaboration between Suzuki and Tenneco engineers resulted in vehicle suspension components that provide a tight sport ride without sacrificing ride comfort.
Tenneco demonstrated its advanced technology capabilities at a technical review with Nissan this week. Among the products and technologies on display were Tenneco's latest diesel technologies, a Tenneco core competency. Tenneco was one of the first to market with a diesel particulate filter passenger car application in Europe and the company has transferred that technology to other markets worldwide. Also highlighted was the company's CES shock absorber, its first electronic suspension system, which is gaining customer acceptance globally. Tenneco participated in similar shows with Toyota in Japan and North America last year.
Tenneco is a $4.7 billion U.S.-based manufacturing company with approximately 19,000 employees worldwide. In Japan, the company's engineering and sales operations are in Yokohama. 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.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Words such as "anticipate," "expects," "will", "continue" 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, including 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 political, economic and competitive conditions in markets where the company and its subsidiaries operate; (iv) workforce factors such as strikes or labor interruptions; (v) material substitutions and increases in the costs of raw materials; (vi) the company's ability to develop and profitably commercialize new products and technologies, and the acceptance of such new products and technologies by the company's customers; and (vii) 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. The company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.
Tenneco Media Relations
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