Market research firm Frost & Sullivan has awarded Dayco Products LLC, a division of Mark IV Industries Inc., the 2001 Market Engineering Aftermarket Product Innovation Award for successfully introducing belt tensioners to the aftermarket. Dayco’s market leading position is rooted in the product’s innovative patented coated flat wire spring that, because of its concentric design, provides less operating range variations in tension. This engineering advancement reduces the risk of premature accessory failures caused by high tension when a new belt is first installed and lessens the risk of belt squeal, slippage and poor accessory performance caused by low tension after the belt begins to stretch. According to new market information from Frost & Sullivan, “North American Belts, Hoses, Gaskets, and Seals Aftermarket, the manufacturer level revenue for automotive belts was $366 million in 2000. The factors driving the market are the increase in miles driven annually, the growing number of vehicles in operation, and the aging of the vehicle population. “Dayco’s business model is something to be commended. The company’s tensioners continue to set the standard for product coverage, reliability and customer acceptance,” says Andrew Hamlin, Frost & Sullivan automotive research analyst. “The true measure of the Dayco automotive tensioner in the marketplace is witnessed by the fact that many in the aftermarket, who, although traditionally stock our competitor’s belt and hose line, have made the marketing decision to carry only the Dayco line of automatic belt tensioners,” says Denny Welvaert, Dayco vice president and general manager. The Frost & Sullivan Market Engineering Aftermarket Product Innovation Award is presented to companies demonstrating excellence in new products and technologies within their industry. In 1984, in partnership with the University of Arkansas, Dayco designed and introduced automatic belt tensioners to the original equipment market. Incorporating the engineering technology and experience gained over the years of association with the world’s major manufacturers of motor vehicles enabled Dayco in 1997 to be the first manufacturer to offer a tensioner line specifically designed to the needs of the automotive aftermarket.