"Bold thinking will be the key to meeting the challenges of the next millennium."
Bold thinking will be the key to meeting the challenges of the next millennium. Fortunately for Bering Truck Corp., bold thinking is already part of its corporate heritage. Having launched the first all-new, independent U.S. truck manufacturer in more than 70 years, facing the millennium is just another step in Bering's plans to become a leader in providing new solutions to the U.S. trucking market.
Without the restraints, expense, and corporate baggage of doing things "just because we've always done them that way," Bering was able to start with a clean sheet of paper and fresh thinking as well as the best R&D, engineering, and technology that the world had to offer. As a result, this American truck newcomer was able to move in with a strong board of directors, widespread industry support, solid pre-sales, and some impressive financial backing by both U.S. investors and commercial lenders.
How was this possible? The reasons can be found in the products themselves. Combining the latest in world-class cab and chassis technology with U.S. powertrains and components, Bering trucks are not just new Class 3-8 niche trucks. They're new solutions for urban congestion, driver shortages, Internet-purchase deliveries, bad roads, tight corners, and even tighter schedules.
The most dramatic change Bering has brought to the marketplace is in the company's approach to the cab interior. Bering filled it with more standard features, ergonomic seats, and strict attention to driver comfort. Bering's Class 3-4 light-duty trucks feature Detroit Diesel engines and Allison automatic transmissions. Its Class 6 medium-duty trucks include Cummins ISB engines, while Class 7-8 trucks will offer Cat or Cummins engines and other U.S. components. Add to that a quiet ride, operating efficiency, performance, and value, and you have the makings of an exciting new U.S. truck line.
There will be more than 60 full sales and service dealer locations by early in the New Year. By year's end, the authorized Bering dealer network will consist of more than 130 U.S. locations.
The initial delivery of Bering's LD Series was pre-sold to dealers and fleets, while the Bering MD Series is selling beyond projections. The new Bering Mixer is expected to have even greater sales impact.
The first phase of Bering's U.S. manufacturing and assembly plant in Front Royal, Va., is on target to begin production just after the New Year. It will be a 215,000-sq.-ft. facility - equivalent in length to nearly four football fields - and incorporate new technologies such as the industry's most advanced chassis paint line for the application of DuPont Imron 5000 paint and state-of-the-art torque control assembly tools. It also will be the first U.S. truck manufacturing facility to feature an integral test track where every truck manufactured will be test-run before shipment to dealers.
The first-year goal will be to produce 2,000 Class 7-8 trucks in the Year 2000. Depending upon market conditions, the production schedule and facility will be expanded to produce up to 20,000 trucks per shift annually. This is possible through an ultra-efficient plant design that enables Bering to provide value to customers at volumes the market dictates. Meanwhile, Bering will continue to have its Class 3-6 trucks built in Korea to Bering's U.S. specifications using U.S. components.
It's all about bringing new truck design, technology, and value to a new age as well as yesterday's roads. There has never been a better time to look ahead.