MAXAIR, ATMI Inc. has developed a new tire-pressure monitoring system for light vehicles, called MAXAIR, which automatically inflates under-inflated tires on equipped vehicles while in transit. The company says that its new technology could help reduce the 30,000 accidents and 660 deaths that are blamed on under-inflated tires every year in the United States, as well as help save drivers a potential $5 billion in gas and reduce CO2 emissions by 250 pounds per car annually by improving gas mileage 3.3%.
Automakers are increasing their use of “environmental-friendly” materials in vehicle interiors, according to a recent WardsAuto.com article. The article notes that one of the hottest “eco-friendly” interior materials is soybeans, which in the form of soybean oil can be used in place of petroleum polyols to create foam for headrests, armrests and seat cushions.
A recent study by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) found that if a select 10% of the U.S. commercial fleet vehicle population switched to propane, the country could displace nearly 1 billion gallons of gasoline annually by 2017.
Gas prices are averaging $3.20 across the United States, and the cost for a gallon of gasoline is likely to remain high. Lynn Westfall, chief economist for Tesoro, recently told BusinessWeek that consumers have already spent $20 billion more on gasoline this year than last—a considerable dent in their disposable incomes.
Gasoline prices continuing to hover well over $3 per gallon helped to entice more U.S. drivers to buy more cars than light trucks last month. In fact, May 2002 marked the last time cars outsold light trucks. Of the 1,555,374 new light vehicles sold in May, 778,651 were cars and 776,723 were light trucks.
New-vehicle buyers are increasingly demanding customized vehicle interiors that make their vehicles feel uniquely theirs, according to a recent WardsAuto.com article. The trend spans newly licensed “Echo Boomers” to well-experienced baby boomers. However, the latter is more concerned with comfort while the former want different interior colors for their personalization needs, commented Erich Merkle, IRN Inc. director of forecasting, in the WardsAuto.com article.
SEMA research has shown that 83% of new-vehicle buyers agree that their vehicles should represent good investments. Consumers want their vehicles to retain value and may make their future purchase decisions partly based on this factor. With this in mind, CarGurus (www.cargurus.com), an automotive community offering consumers pricing information on new vehicles, assembled its list of the 10 best and 10 worst vehicles in terms of retention value.
After falling for two months in a row, consumer demand for new automobiles rebounded 3% in May, with 17% of all U.S. households saying that they are very (8%) or somewhat (9%) likely to purchase or lease a new automobile within the next six months (versus 14% who were likely to purchase or lease a new automobile in April), according to TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.
The companies and links below represent the members of the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) that sponsored the council's Industry Awards Reception during the SEMA Spring Expo and SEMA OFFROAD events. For more information on PRO, visit the council's website by clicking here.
PRO Industry Awards Reception Sponsors
SEMA-members companies have posted several new listings for job opportunities at www.sema.org/classifieds. Working for a SEMA-member company has many advantages. In addition to working for a company that supports and contributes to the success of the overall industry, being employed by a SEMA-member company enable the employee to participate in webinars, access free market research, join SEMA committees and more. The newest classified listings posted under Positions Available include: