VANCOUVER, July 25 /CNW/ - Westport Innovations Inc. (TSE:WPT) announced
today that it has amended a cooperative technology development agreement with
Isuzu Motors Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan.
The amendment covers the addition of a strict engine and component
durability test phase and the beginning of Isuzu's internal review process
that could lead to discussions on a commercial arrangement between the two
companies. The agreement now runs until March 2003.
Westport and Isuzu have been cooperating since December 2000 under a
Memorandum of Understanding. The two companies are currently testing the
Westport direct injection natural gas fuel system in a new, advanced Isuzu
diesel in the four-liter range. Westport is testing one of these engines in
Vancouver and Isuzu is testing another in Japan.
The target market for this development is a series of Isuzu urban
delivery trucks that operate on natural gas but retain all of the torque and
fuel efficiency of the original diesel version. Isuzu is 49%-owned by General
Motors Corp. of Detroit and Isuzu's diesel technology plays an important role
in General Motors' global strategy.
"Westport's direct injection technology has the potential to create a low
emissions alternative fuel truck that is not only cleaner but also more
economical for fleet operators," said Takashi Urata, Isuzu's Executive
Officer, Powertrain Office. "The early durability data will allow us to assess
this potential with confidence for markets in Japan and elsewhere."
Westport's strategy is to develop natural gas technology for diesel
engines through key strategic alliances. In addition to Isuzu, Westport has
strategic alliances with Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan; and MAN
Nutzfahrzeuge AG and BMW AG, both of Munich, Germany. Westport has a joint
venture with Cummins Inc. of Columbus, Indiana.
Note: This news release contains forward-looking statements about
Westport's plans based on the current expectations of management. Westport
cautions investors that due to risks and uncertainties, actual events may
differ materially from current expectations.
/For further information: please contact: Alan Bayless, Westport
Innovations Inc. Director, Communications, Phone (604) 718-2016, fax
(604) 718-2001, e-mail abayless(at)westport.com/
CO: Westport Innovations Inc.
ST: British Columbia
IN: TRN MAC
-0- Jul/25/2002 13:00 GMT
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