The SMC Automotive Alliance says more than 45 new SMC components can be found on '98 cars and trucks, a 64% increase in the number of total SMC components introduced since 1993. The amount of SMC used also has risen during the past five years, from 156 million lbs. (71 million kg) in 1993 to a projected 237 million lbs. (108 million kg) in 1998. "SMC has long been known as a composite used for automotive body panels such as hoods, fenders and decklids," says Don Kossak, the SMCAA's chairman and director of exterior sales for Cambridge Industries. "Automakers are now also realizing the suitability of SMC for structures and drivetrain components - such as grille opening reinforcements, bumper beams, valve covers and fuel tank shields - because in many cases, SMC helps consolidate steel stampings," he says.