ArvinMeritor today announced it will drop its line of Meritor-branded fully manual truck transmissions to “strategically” shift its emphasis to the FreedomLine automated manual transmissions produced by Germany's ZF Friedrichshafen (ZF), which ArvinMeritor has been marketing in N.A. since 1998.
The company will honor all current manual transmission orders placed with ArvinMeritor Inc. and all orders received prior to September 2006, provided they are to be delivered no later than January 2007. All Meritor manual transmissions sold and in service will continue to be supported by the company for an “extended period of time,” noted D. Mike Pennington, senior director-global marketing communications & industry relations for ArvinMeritor Commercial Vehicle Systems.
The Meritor manuals were introduced before automated manuals began to gain interest among fleet owners concerned with making truck driving more appealing to a wider pool of workers while not undermining truck fuel efficiency.
“Understandably, with workforce demographics now bringing in more new drivers unfamiliar with manual shifting, the market is telling us automated manuals is where lies the interest,” Pennington told Fleet Owner. “Both the 12- and 16-sp. FreedomLine models are aimed at Class 8 linehaul applications.”
The company noted that production of the FreedomLine will remain at ArvinMeritor's Laurinburg, NC, facility, and the workforce for the manual transmissions will be “absorbed into production positions on other components in the facility.”