Akebono Corp. introduced three lines of ceramic brake pads for 2005 at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) part of Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week.
The new brake pad lines are targeted at three distinct markets: high-end European sedans and sport-utility vehicles; vehicles that experience severe duty use; and performance vehicles such as tuner cars.
This is a new family of brake pads for the replacement market that will be marketed under the Akebono name, said Laura Sullivan, brand manager, aftermarket division for Akebono. The firm also offers ultra-premium brake pads under the Pro-Act name.
Akebono will begin offering its latest brake pad lines in the first quarter of 2005, in updated packaging that is color-coded to help technicians distinguish between pad types, Ms. Sullivan said.
The Euro brake pad line is a true ceramic formulation and virtually eliminates rotor wear and dust, said Lloyd Hassell, senior product manager.
Owners of high-end European vehicles ``don't like the dust, but they like the pedal feel, and that's what we're trying to duplicate,'' he said.
Akebono said its European ceramic brake pad formulations are approved by Audi A.G., Mercedes Benz A.G. and Volkswagen A.G. and will be available in 80 SKUs when introduced in next year's first quarter.
The severe-duty line of Akebono disc pads is designed for police cars, taxis, municipal and government fleets, limousines and other passenger vehicles that experience severe use.
These pads feature an upgraded ceramic material that reduces overall brake service costs by extending the service life of the pads as well as the rotors, Mr. Hassell said.
In addition, Akebono said the disc pads provide consistent noise, vibration and harshness control along with extreme stopping power, while eliminating pedal pulsation and frequent rotor replacement. The line will feature 41 SKUs.
Akebono is targeting its ceramic-based street performance brake pads at sport compact and other performance car enthusiasts-people who like to drive aggressively, Mr. Hassell said.
These pads provide extended life for expensive drilled and slotted rotors and generate lower operating temperatures for extending life of all brake system components, the company said.
They also help keep wheels clean by reducing dust.
``These people don't want anything on their wheels,'' Mr. Hassell said, referring to owners of tuner vehicles. ``Look at the money they are spending on wheels. They don't want any dust. They don't want anything to discolor the wheel. They want their wheels to shine.''
Akebono will offer its street performance disc brake pads in 55 SKUs.