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Technology Breakthrough at Dow  Reduces Cost to Produce 'Green’ Tires 

MIDLAND, Mich., March 24 / -- In the ongoing search for improved road safety, better fuel economy and reduced environmental impact, Dow Corning has announced a breakthrough in the technology needed to manufacture “green” tires – a safer, more fuel efficient tire whose production has been stymied by high production costs.  

"Green" tires first emerged as a concept in the 1990s when engineers discovered that if they used silane-treated silica as a reinforcing filler in tread compounds, tire rolling resistance was improved.  Using Phase Transfer Catalysis (PTC) technology, they have developed a method through which the silane needed for the silica treatment component could be made more affordably. 

 

Underinflated Tires Wasting More Than $2 Billion at the Gas Pumps 

AKRON, Ohio, March 24 / -- American motorists may be wasting more than $2 billion a year at the gas pumps by driving their vehicles on under-inflated tires. 

According to statistics from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, a tire inflation that's only 4 to 5 pounds per square inch low causes a vehicle to gulp an extra 10 percent of fuel. Since tires account for 4 percent to 7 percent of a car's fuel consumption -- power needed to overcome the tires' rolling resistance -- keeping tires properly inflated has a huge effect on America's pocketbooks. 

 

Celine Dion Delivers Life-Saving Messages In New Automobile Safety Campaign 

WASHINGTON, March 25 / --  A new multilingual series of public service announcements featuring Grammy ฎ award winning singer Celine Dion has been launched by the National Safety Council. The spots are aimed at helping keep families safe by emphasizing simple measures for protecting children as vehicle passengers.   

The spots will air in English, French and Spanish, and will include such information as proper child safety seat usage and fit, securing children in the back seat, the usage of booster seats, and general safety belt usage. 

 

Top 10 Auto Trends at the New York Auto Show 

NEW YORK, March 25 / -- The 2004 New York International Automobile Show opens April 9 – 18th, and here are the themes and trends you can expect to see: 

Supercars – focus on power and speed, 500 hp to enter

Cool Coupes – BMW 6 series, Maserati Gran Sport

Sedans in all sizes – Pontiac G6, Lexus GS300

Sports Cars – Chevy Corvette, Pontiac GTO

Hot Convertibles – Pontiac Solstice, Mercedes SLK

Pickups – Lincoln Mark LT, Hummer H3T

Minivan makeovers – Nissan Quest, Buick Terraza

SUV – Range Stormer, Infiniti QX56

Wagons – Dodge Magnum, Chrysler 300C Touring

Hi-tech gadgets – Adaptive headlights, keyless entry, remote starter 

 

J.D. Power Says Number of 'Upside-Down' Vehicle Buyers is Increasing Substantially 

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., March 25 / -- According to the Power Information Network, an affiliate of J.D. Power and Associates, the number of new-vehicle buyers who owe more on their trade than it is worth – termed "upside-down" buyers -- has increased substantially over the past three years. 

While only 25 percent of trades were an upside-down situation in 2001, today, 38 percent of trades are in this category.  This trend is one of the consequences of the intense competition in the U.S. new-vehicle market.  To maintain share, manufacturers are keeping monthly payments of new or refreshed models the same by lengthening the terms of finance loans.

 


 

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