WARREN, Michigan, December 17 /PRNewswire/ --

The Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) fuel tank from TI Automotive, the world's leading supplier of fluid-storage and delivery systems, has been selected as a 2009 PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers Contribution to Excellence) awards finalist for its revolutionary new design and production method.

The company's process technology and unique product architecture employed in the launch of the first BMW 3-Series PZEV plastic fuel tank represents a breakthrough in the transition from steel to plastic, according to Manouchehr Kambakhsh, vice president Global Advanced Engineering for TI Automotive.

It's now possible to replace complex, large-capacity steel fuel tanks with plastic tanks that offer weight reduction and fuel savings, Kambakhsh said. BMW was the first to adopt our new technology in volume production, but other OEMs now are taking advantage of it as well.

Sponsored by Automotive News, Ernst Young and the Transportation Research Center, the 15th annual PACE awards program celebrates innovation by original equipment suppliers in the development of new products and processes. An independent panel of judges will select the winners, who will be announced April 20, 2009.

TI Automotive's Ship-in-a-Bottle process technology enables the placement of fuel-delivery subassembly systems inside fuel tanks, including fuel pumps, pressure regulators and remote jet pumps, as well as critical components of a vehicle's vapor management system (such as vapor/liquid separators, rollover valves, vent valves and vent lines).

The company's PERMBLOK AS6 material structure used in certain applications with TI Automotive's PZEV tanks reduces evaporative emissions from coextruded plastic fuel tanks by up to 50 percent and is instrumental in helping manufacturers meet stringent new evaporative emissions standards.

Being named a 2009 PACE Award finalist is a great honor and clearly demonstrates the innovative work we're doing in fuel tank design, said Bill Kozyra, TI Automotive's chairman and CEO.

A vertically integrated company, TI Automotive is the world's leading supplier of fluid storage, transfer and delivery systems, including brake, fuel and air-conditioning applications. Its customer list includes all of the world's major automakers. With headquarters in Warren, Mich., and Oxford, England, the company employs more than 16,000 people at more than 100 facilities in 27 countries with annual sales of US$2.8 billion.

Media: Frank Buscemi, The Quell Group, +1-248-519-2054, fbuscemi@quell.com, for TI Automotive