[GLOBAL] What are the economies you are looking at for future expansion and growth?
Tenneco serves the world’s leading on- and off-road commercial vehicle and engine manufacturers, and sees significant growth opportunities in the BRIC countries as well as the Mercosul countries in South America, with Argentina and Chile now adopting emission regulations similar to Brazil. Japan also represents a good growth opportunity for Tenneco as we have recently expanded our technical center in Yokohama, established our first manufacturing facility in Osaka, and new regulations are impacting both on-road commercial trucks as well as non-road engines produced in Japan.
[POLITICS] What political/government regulation/standard/bill was passed in the past year that most affected the way you do business and go to market?
Several recent examples of regulations that present growth opportunities for Tenneco include US Tier 3 for light vehicles, and China NS VI. The decision to maintain the timing of the global International Maritime Organization MARPOL Annex VI standards for marine applications was also an important development.
How do you foresee this effect continuing into next year and in years to come?
Emissions regulations are a fundamental growth driver for Tenneco, and we expect increasingly stringent regulations around the world to continue to support the demand for new aftertreatment technologies. For example, our electronic exhaust valves, which are in production today, and our waste heat recovery systems currently in development could both play a role in helping engine and equipment manufacturers meet future GHG regulations.
Now that Tier 4 Final is underway, many companies’ engineering resources have been freed up to refocus on developing new products instead of refining existing products to meet regulatory expectations. Have you seen this refocusing? What does this mean for future system development?
Even with Tier 4 Final systems now in production, there will be a continued focus on optimizing these system designs for better performance and lower cost, so we expect to see engineering resources split between product refinement and innovation. For the long term, emissions regulations are a fundamental growth driver for Tenneco, and we expect increasingly stringent regulations around the world to continue to drive demand for new aftertreatment technologies.
In addition, we see opportunities for Clean Air technologies that go beyond the reduction of criteria pollutants to help contribute to improved fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
What current ideas and new technologies have the most potential for future gain?
Mechatronics, waste heat recovery and low temperature selective catalytic reduction all represent significant opportunities. For example, Tenneco’s electronically controlled exhaust valves provide a compact, lightweight, and cost-effective solution for adaptive exhaust control for engines incorporating selective cylinder deactivation, as well as precise sound design and noise control in tailpipe applications. Tenneco debuted its electronic valve in the passenger car market on the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, and this technology has potential applications in a number of other market segments, including commercial vehicle and off-highway.
Tenneco is also developing technology to convert waste exhaust heat to useful energy including a system based on the Rankine cycle. This technology has the potential to be an effective method for meeting the requirements of future regulations for carbon dioxide emissions control as well as improved fuel efficiency to help reduce vehicle operating expenses. We are currently in the process of integrating key components into a complete aftertreatment module, ensuring that the technology works efficiently with the vehicle’s aftertreatment components as well as the entire emissions control system. Vehicles could potentially employ Rankine-based systems by the end of this decade.
How has Tenneco’s emissions technology strategy shifted now that greenhouse gas reduction standards have been announced?
Emissions regulations are a fundamental growth driver for Tenneco, and we expect increasingly stringent requirements around the world to continue to support the demand for new aftertreatment technologies. GHG standards create additional opportunities for technologies that save weight and improve fuel economy. Examples include fabricated manifolds for diesel engines, compact mixers that reduced overall system size and mass, and lower backpressure technologies including electronic valves.
With Tier 4 Final underway, what does Tenneco anticipate will be the next big push in the efforts for cleaner vehicle emissions?
In addition to US Tier 4 Final, we see opportunities for Clean Air technologies that go beyond the reduction of criteria pollutants to help contribute to improved fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions. US Tier 5 regulations are under discussion, and EU Stage V non road standards are now under development, and this will bring opportunities for Tenneco in the 74 horsepower and below engine power ratings. We believe that opportunities will be present in both the smaller gasoline engines used in non-road applications, as well as diesels.