Innovation Alive, Well in Global Automobile Market

Posted On January 28, 2009 | by AllenCaron

The global economy, especially the automotive sector, may be on the skids, but if you build a better mousetrap, or in this case a new oil filter, the sky is still the limit. You have to think the future is bright for privately-held SOMS Technologies (http://www.microgreenfilter.com), a small New York-based company that has developed an oil filter that reduces oil usage in your car by 70 percent, thereby allowing a typical car to run up to 24,000 miles without an oil change. SOMS, which stands for Spin-On Microfilter System, has placed an extra filter in what it calls the microGreen oil filter that passively removes more particles, thus extending the life of the oil. What’s not to like about that?

Many smallcap auto parts suppliers started out with similar innovative technologies, or at least innovative ideas. Amerigon (Nasdaq: ARGN, http://www.amerigon.com) started out using a thermoelectric technology to power an electric car; the originator of Dana Corp (NYSE: DAN, http://www.dana.com) patented the first practical universal joint; American Axle and Manufacturing (NYSE: AXL, http://www.aam.com) purchased a portion of GM’s drivetrain business and became its outsourced supplier. An early stage microcap, nowhere near as far along as these others, is World Energy Solutions (OTC BB: WEGY, http://www.wesinc.net), which has developed a hydrogen-oxygen injection system to increase gas mileage and reduce emissions. What, and who, will be next?

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