Tenneco Automotive Inc. (ticker: TEN, exchange: New York Stock Exchange) News Release
November 17, 2004
TENNECO AUTOMOTIVE TO SUPPLY INNOVATIVE ELECTRONIC SUSPENSION SYSTEM ON NEW AUDI A6
LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS; BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, NOVEMBER 17, 2004 - Tenneco Automotive (NYSE: TEN) announced today that its Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension - CES - will be offered in combination with a four corner air spring system as an option on the A6 and the new A6 Avant as of Spring 2005. Specific market introduction dates may vary.
"Our CES business with Audi demonstrates how Tenneco Automotive's superior technology solutions have fueled our growth," said Mark P. Frissora, chairman and CEO, Tenneco Automotive. "Advanced suspension technologies, such as CES, help our OE customers respond to consumer demand for increasingly sophisticated vehicle content to enhance their driving experience. CES delivers a comfortable ride without sacrificing the safety of sure handling."
Tenneco Automotive's CES is a semi-active suspension system that overrides the trade-off between comfort and handling. It continuously adjusts damping levels according to road conditions and vehicle dynamics, such as speed, turning and cornering as well as driver inputs.
CES uses shock absorbers that include dampers developed by Tenneco Automotive and continuously variable electro-mechanical valves, developed by Öhlins Racing. CES valve adjustments occur very rapidly - typically within 10 milliseconds - to produce different damping forces. This adjustment speed provides effective control of wheel resonant vibrations up to 20 Hz. As a result, wheel hop frequency control is achieved in addition to body frequency control.
At the heart of the CES system is an electronic control unit (ECU) that processes driver inputs and data from sensors placed at key locations on the vehicle. The sensors include three accelerometers mounted on the vehicle body and four suspension position sensors, which feed data to the ECU on steering wheel angle, vehicle speed, brake pressure and other chassis control information.
The ECU utilizes control software that processes the sensor information in real time and sends signals that adjust independently the damping level of each shock absorber valve. CES dampers allow a large separation between maximum and minimum damping levels and adjust instantaneously to assure riding comfort and firm, safe vehicle control.
Tenneco Automotive is supplying conventional shocks and struts for the new A6. The company also supplies the Audi A2, A3 and A4.
For the Audi solution, Tenneco Automotive developed the CES damper and algorithm and worked together with Öhlins Racing for the radial valve, Vibracoustic for the air springs and Wabco for software programming. System definition, car integration and tuning work were all done by Audi.
Production for the Audi CES system is at Tenneco Automotive's manufacturing facility in Ermua, Spain.
Tenneco Automotive is a $3.8 billion manufacturing company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois and approximately 19,200 employees worldwide. Tenneco Automotive 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 Automotive markets its products principally under the Monroe®, Walker®, Gillet® and Clevite® Elastomer brand names. Among its products are Sensa-Trac® and Monroe Reflex® shocks and struts, Rancho® shock absorbers, Walker® Quiet-Flow® mufflers, Dynomax® performance exhaust products, and Clevite® Elastomer noise, vibration and harshness 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) 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; and (iii) 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.
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