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WALBRO ANNOUNCES PLANS TO PRODUCE ADVANCED PLASTIC FUEL TANKS FOR AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS

 WALBRO ANNOUNCES PLANS TO PRODUCE ADVANCED PLASTIC FUEL TANKS
 FOR AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS
 CASS CITY, Mich., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Walbro Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: WALB) has announced plans to manufacture and market multi- layer, blow-molded plastic fuel tanks for the North American automotive industry. The announcement was made by L.E. Althaver, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Walbro Corporation, at the company's annual meeting held here today.
 "We are committed to developing our role as a supplier of tank/storage systems to the automotive industry," Althaver told stockholders. "We currently supply in-tank fuel pumps and fuel modules, in addition to fuel rails, to major North American automakers, so the expansion of our product line into the tank area is a natural one. This move significantly expands our capabilities as a supplier of automotive fuel systems."
 Plastic fuel tanks offer a number of advantages over steel tanks, which currently dominate the North American market. The advantages of plastic fuel tanks include lower cost, lighter weight, impact- resistance, and the ability to be produced in unusual shapes to better utilize available space.
 Plastic fuel tanks are also unaffected by harsh fuels such as methanol blends, which corrode steel fuel tanks. Automakers are required to produce specific quantities of "Clean Fuel Vehicles" utilizing such fuels by mid-decade.
 However, ordinary plastic fuel tanks will not meet future evaporative emissions regulations, which severely restrict hydrocarbon emissions that occur through evaporation from a vehicle's fuel system.
 The phase-in of stringent evaporative emissions test standards is scheduled to begin in California with the 1995 model year. Similar standards are expected to appear nationally as well.
 Typical plastic fuel tanks allow the permeation of hydrocarbons through the tank material itself, causing them to fail to meet the new standards.
 The new Walbro tanks will utilize multi-layer construction that includes a barrier layer that effectively eliminates permeation. The result is a fuel tank that provides all the benefits of plastic construction while meeting the new evaporative emissions standards.
 Walbro's multi-layer tanks will be manufactured by Walbro Automotive Corporation, a Walbro subsidiary, using a process that combines co- extrusion and blow-molding technology. The specialized equipment needed to produce these tanks has already been ordered.
 Representative prototype fuel tanks could be produced by year-end for potential customers, with volume production possible in time for the 1995 model year.
 Walbro Corporation is a designer and manufacturer of automotive and small-engine fuel-system components. Walbro is headquartered in Cass City, and has subsidiaries and joint ventures throughout the world, including the United States, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Korea and France. Walbro common stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol WALB.
 -0- 4/23/92
 /CONTACT: Dan Hittler, director, technical planning and development; L.E. Althaver, chairman; Forrest Walpole, vice president-Administration; or Gary Vollmar, vice president-Finance, Walbro Corporation, 517-872-2131/
 (WALB) CO: Walbro Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT


DH -- DE005 -- 1883 04/23/92 12:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 23, 1992
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