One key engineering battleground is ride control, where many import models’ “tight,” control-intensive steering and suspension systems can lead to increased ride harshness in some driving situations.
“There has traditionally been a trade-off between control and comfort in many import vehicles, especially those with lighter-weight chassis components and low-profile tires,” said Bill Dennie, director of ride control channel management for global shock and strut manufacturer Tenneco Inc. “There’s no doubt that consumers love the way these vehicles handle but they also complain about the ride being too harsh in many situations.”
To eliminate this compromise, Tenneco’s Monroe brand recently introduced a broad new line of highly advanced shocks and struts for import vehicles. The new Monroe OESpectrum units feature a “Twin Technology Active Control System” that accentuates control while isolating impact-related noise, vibration and harshness before they are transmitted into the passenger compartment.
This emphasis on maintaining and improving the performance of import models is a logical response to the increasingly global face of the North American vehicle population, Dennie said.
“With the growth of foreign nameplates, we’re leveraging our global engineering resources to deliver products that address the unique demands of import vehicles,” he said. “What consumers might not realize is that we have long provided original equipment parts on many Asian and European models.”
The combination of OE manufacturing experience, import-specific technologies and tried-and-true North American brands can provide an important additional benefit: convenience. Monroe products, for example, are available through thousands of parts stores and service shops.
For more information on ride control products for import vehicles, visit www.monroe.com. Many import owners prefer shocks/struts that eliminate harshness while providing a “tight” ride.