At an enormous research cost, a leading chemical company has developed a manufacturing process for converting wood fibers into a plastic. According to the company, this new plastic can be used for, among other things, the hulls of small sailboats. But what does the company think sailboat hulls used to be made of? Surely the mania for high technology can scarcely go further than this.
1. The authorâ€™s opinion of the manufacturing process described in the passage is based primarily on the fact that
(A) plastic is unlikely to be durable enough for high-quality sailboat hulls
(B) the research costs of developing the process outweigh any savings possible from the use of the plastic
(C) a small sailboat is not normally regarded as a high-tech product
(D) hulls for small sailboats can be made from wood without converting it into plastic
(E) many other spheres of human activity are in far greater need of technological research
2. Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the authorâ€™s conclusion?
(A) The plastic produced by the process is considerably lighter, stronger, and more watertight than wood.
(B) The wood used in producing the plastic is itself in increasingly short supply.
(C) The cost of the manufacturing process of the plastic increases the cost of producing a sailboat hull by 10 to 15 percent.
(D) Much of the cost of the research that developed the new process will be written off for tax purposes by the chemical company.
(E) The development of the new plastic is expected to help make the chemical company an important supplier of boat-building materials.
SAID BUSINESS SCHOOL, OXFORD - MBA CLASS OF 2008