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R. L. Polk & Co’s Ask the Industry Takes a Sneak Peek at the

For the first time ever, this year’s AAPEX show will feature a new "Green Zone," which will showcase environmentally friendly automotive products. The automotive aftermarket and truck fleet markets are fully embracing the reality that they must become more environmentally conscious and have recently begun promoting a wide variety of innovative ‘green’ initiatives — from eco-friendly bedliners to complete corporate environmental initiatives. In honor of the new “Green Zone” at AAPEX, we asked a few aftermarket companies to tell us what new products, technology, or maintenance procedures their companies launched this year to help motorists be more environmentally conscious.

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For the first time ever, this year’s AAPEX show will feature a new "Green Zone," which will showcase environmentally friendly automotive products. The automotive aftermarket and truck fleet markets are fully embracing the reality that they must become more environmentally conscious and have recently begun promoting a wide variety of innovative ‘green’ initiatives — from eco-friendly bedliners to complete corporate environmental initiatives.

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Just last month, Yokohma Rubber Co. (YRC) announced the company’s new “Grand Design 100” (GD 100) initiative, which celebrates Yokohama ’s 100th anniversary in 2017 and focuses on improving the current condition of the environment.

“Considering all the serious issues that we are now facing, we have to take our own approaches to global warming, depletion of energy resources and environmental issues as sincerely and quickly as possible,” said YRC’s President Tadanobu Nagumo. “These are our most important responsibilities to take for the present and most importantly the future. By the year 2017, Yokohama ’s 100th anniversary, we are very eager to minimize the environmental impact made by all of our products. We – Yokohama – want to make all our products eco-friendly and keep the Earth forever blue.”

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“Our vision is to assert world-class strengths in technologies for protecting the environment,” Nagumo said. “This is the most important responsibility for those who are willing to expand in global overseas markets.”

Nagumo said Yokohama’s plants in Japan have achieved complete zero emissions one year earlier than planned, as well they have achieved an 8-percent reduction in CO2 emissions, more than the objective for reduction of CO2 emissions in the Kyoto Protocol. “That helped us obtain a top level Environmental Rating certification from the Development Bank of Japan,” he said.

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Other elements of Yokohama ’s “green technologies” include research and development to help the prevention of global warming, resource recycling, reduce energy consumption and improve products safety and comfort.

Doing its own part to slow its impact on the environment, Durakon Industries, manufacturer of the top selling drop-in bedliner for trucks and a leading supplier of truck tonneau covers, has announced that its both Duraliner and All Star bedliners are manufactured with almost 100 percent recycled and recyclable material.

Durakon’s new “green-focused” manufacturing process will greatly reduce landfill waste without any loss to the p rod uct’s high standards of quality or durability, according to the company. The reclamation of HDPE plastic, the common material used to manufacture all bedliners, will have a significant impact over time. In a short period of time, it is estimated that Durakon will have prevented 150,000 lbs. of bedliners from entering landfills, greatly reducing carbon emissions in the process.

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In honor of the new “Green Zone” at AAPEX, we asked a few aftermarket companies to tell us what new products, technology, or maintenance procedures their companies launched this year to help motorists be more environmentally conscious:

Mike Fitzgerald, Vice President of Marketing, Standard Motor Products:

“A well-maintained vehicle is not only environmentally friendly, it also performs better, is reliable, and saves money at the pump. By asking for a 21st Century tune-up, motorists will have the fuel, emissions and ignition systems checked, as well as the battery, charging and starting system, and the engine mechanical and the powertrain control systems. Because the fuel system works closely with the rest of the engine, cleaning the fuel injectors can help deliver increased performance. A well-tuned engine delivers the best fuel economy and p rod uces the lowest level of emissions."

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Editor’s Note: 21st Century Tune-Up is a program developed by Standard Motor Products to help shops increase product and service sales while helping motorists improve the reliability, performance and fuel economy of their vehicles, while also reducing pollution.

Chris McKenzie , Director of Marketing, Penray:

“BioDiesel is the new, hot item. It burns cleaner and it’s renewable. In fact, BioDiesel stations are starting to pop up everywhere and will continue to increase. It’s estimated that 250 million gallons will be p rod uced this year, and by 2015 that number is expected to grow to 2 billion gallons. To serve this growing market, Penray recently launched WINTER POW-R PLUS BioDiesel Fuel Treatment for small and medium engines. It’s ready for use in BioDiesel and will help preserve the environment by improving fuel economy and reducing vehicle emissions.”

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Steve Rich, Chairman, Engine Repower Council:

“"Many motorists don’t realize that repowering their engine is environmentally responsible. The ‘green’ motorist knows that scrapped vehicles consume our land by ending up in junk yards or landfills. They know that ‘recycling’ their engine also ‘recycles’ their vehicle, saving natural resources and the energy required to p rod uce a new vehicle. Repowering has the added benefit of increasing engine efficiency, resulting in better gas mileage and lowering greenhouse emissions.

“Since today’s vehicles can last over 200,000 miles, repowering a car’s engine rather than buying a new car makes both environmental and financial sense. Repowering not only reduces harmful emissions which helps protect the environment, but it eliminates new car payments and higher insurance rates for the vehicle owner. That seems like a ‘win-win’ to me.”

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