- Electronic suspension preferred over conventional suspension in all tested situations
- High purchase consideration after test drives
- Consumers willing to pay for electronic systems
Vairano, Italy, May 23, 2014,– Tenneco Inc. (NYSE: TEN) today published results of a survey showing that consumers experience a feeling of increased comfort, control and safety when driving cars equipped with intelligent (electronically-adjusted) suspension systems versus the same cars equipped with conventional suspension systems.
In the survey,* conducted for Tenneco by TNS Infratest, 94% of sports utility vehicle (SUV) drivers rated the overall driving experience with a semi-active suspension system as very good or excellent, compared with a rating of 73% for passive suspension systems. In the compact car (CC) segment, 86% of drivers rated their overall driving experience as very good or excellent compared with 61% for passive systems, while 88% of upper middle class (UMC) segment drivers rated semi-active suspension systems as very good or excellent versus 77% for passive systems.
Tenneco’s Monroe® Intelligent Suspension technology continuously adjusts shock absorber damping levels to road conditions and vehicle dynamics such as speed, turning, cornering and other driver inputs to achieve an optimal balance between ride comfort and vehicle handling. The system can be switched from standard to sport or comfort mode at any time according to driver preferences without impacting vehicle dynamics.
The most significant improvement with intelligent suspension systems reported across all segments was vehicle comfort with road holding, stability, agility, control and safety all scoring strongly versus conventional systems. In addition, the ability to change the suspension mode at will resulted in a strong increase in scores for flexibility and driving fun versus conventional systems.
“Our test results confirm that intelligent suspension systems deliver benefits that consumers notice and prefer – notably that there is no need to compromise between ride comfort and handling,” said Sandro Paparelli, Vice President & General Manager, Tenneco Ride Performance Europe. “Consumers clearly feel that intelligent systems reconcile these differences to give drivers the pleasure of both, and they value the ability to vary their ride at the touch of a button.”
When evaluating intelligent suspension systems, 39% of compact car segment drivers said it should be standard in vehicles in all segments from compact class and above. In the SUV segment, 38% of drivers said it should be standard from middle-class vehicles and above. In both segments, drivers were willing to pay a higher price for vehicles incorporating intelligent suspension systems.
After driving both vehicles with and without intelligent systems, the purchase intention rate across all segments was 47%.
“By making vehicles capable of adapting to different environments, situations or ride preferences, intelligent suspension systems provide consumers with alternatives. They respond to today’s consumers who value both comfort and performance, and the freedom to choose their driving experience,” Paparelli concluded.
Following the consumer survey, a series of quantitative tests by TÜV SÜD using vehicles equipped with Monroe® Intelligent Suspension confirmed better wheel to road contact, which helps avoid sideslip and oversteer, especially during cornering on uneven road surfaces. In more dynamic driving situations, such as lane changes or obstacle avoidance, the reduction in body movement was found to bring greater stability, which helps increase the feeling of comfort and safety.
*The survey included 155 German consumers who took part in comparative vehicle tests.
Tenneco is an $8 billion global manufacturing company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois and approximately 26,000 employees worldwide. Tenneco is one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of clean air and ride performance products and systems for automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment markets and the aftermarket. Tenneco’s principal brand names are Monroe®, Walker®, XNOx™ and Clevite®Elastomer.
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About TÜV SÜD:
For almost 150 years, TÜV SÜD has been working to make the world a safer and more sustainable place. More than 19,000 employees, at over 800 locations in Europe, Americas, Middle East and Asia, provide services throughout the entire value chain, focusing on Testing, Certification, Training and Knowledge services.
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