LOUISVILLE, Ky. Although the first quarter was “pretty good” for aftermarket and OEM sales, “we’re about to come to the close of those good times,” said Joe McAleese, president and CEO of Bendix CVS. Sales in the first quarter were bolstered by fleets buying the last trucks available with 2007-certified engines, but as truck manufacturers work through inventories and begin switching to the new, more expensive 2010-certified diesels, sales will drop off in the second and third quarters, making them “very challenging,” McAleese said during a press conference at the Mid-American Trucking Show (MATS).
“We’re going to see sales go down again before they go up,” he said. With a relatively slow economic recovery, McAleese said Bendix does not expect North American truck sales to return to 2007 levels until 2012, and that it will take “a prolonged period” to reach the record levels seen in 2006.
Despite expectations for slow recovery, Bendix has continued to invest in new product development, especially in the areas of active safety systems and fuel-saving components, according to McAleese.
Among its product announcements at MATS, the company said it would add stationary object alerts to its Wingman Active Cruise with Braking (ACB) system. Introduced last year at MATS, Wingman ACB offers forward collision warning and collision mitigation with active braking.
On the fuel savings front, the company offered a look at a new technology under development that will decrease turbocharger lag and improve both fuel economy and emissions by injecting pressurized air into the fuel intake system, as well as a new compressor with a wet clutch that reduces parasitic power losses.
The company’s joint venture with Dana Corp. – Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC – also introduced the VersaJust automatic slack adjustor at the show. Available in the third quarter, the VersaJust features new seals and protection against environmental contamination and lubricant leaks. It will come with a six-year warranty, according to Bendix.