WEST NYACK, NY -- January 12, 1999 --- General Bearing Corporation (Nasdaq:GNRL) today announced it has been granted "unconditional approval" by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to sell its tapered journal roller bearings--bearings specially designed for freight car axles--to meet railroad needs.
The Company said that "unconditional approval," the AAR's highest level of approval, removes limitations on the number of bearings the Company may sell and eliminates the need for General Bearing customers to track, monitor and report to the AAR on its bearings. Previously, the Company had earned AAR certification to market its bearings to the railroad industry in specific allotments.
"The elevation to AAR's unconditional approval status further enhances our competitive position in this $200 million market," said Alistair Crannis, general manager of the OEM Division of General Bearing.
The Company said it has supplied tapered journal bearings to the railroad industry since 1994 and is well on its way to gaining the industry's best performance record. Marketed under the Hyatt trademark, the bearings were originally produced by a former division of General Motors Corp., which was a leader in the design and manufacture of railroad tapered journal bearings.
General Bearing said that gaining AAR approval required meeting stringent technical standards before being elevated to the "unconditional" level. "Our bearing passed all the test parameters. The Wheels, Axles, Bearings, Lubrication Committee (WABL) of engineers from major AAR-member railroads and major car owners were satisfied with everything from the physical dimensions and metallurgy of the parts to the condition of the disassembled bearings after 411,000 equivalent miles of unit coal car service. This product's performance is a testament to General Bearing's continued commitment to QS9000/ISO9001 and AAR M1003 quality standards as well as its engineering expertise in railroad products," said William Kurtz, vice president and director of operations of General Bearing.
The Company said that "Class E" and "Class F" Hyatt-brand tapered journal bearings are currently available with the highest quality and performance standards in the industry.
Separately, General Bearing is developing a new "Class K" tapered journal bearing "that will establish new standards in the industry for quality and performance," said Kurtz.
General Bearing manufactures, sources, assembles and distributes a variety of bearing components and products. The Company manufactures ball bearings, tapered roller bearings, spherical roller bearings and cylindrical roller bearings. Under "The General" and the "Hyatt" trademarks, the Company supplies Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the automobile, truck/trailer, railcar, office equipment, machinery and appliance industries, as well as the industrial aftermarket.
"Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the impact of competitive products, product demand and market acceptance risks, reliance on key strategic alliances, fluctuations in operating results and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks could cause the Company's actual results for the current FY and beyond to differ materially from those expressed in any forward looking statements made by, or on behalf of, the company.