"Durability, comfort and safety are basic requirements for all our product offerings."
National Seating has been producing heavy-truck seats for the North American market for 40 years. It is the largest truck suspension-seat manufacturer in North America, with production rates in excess of half-a-million heavy-truck seats per year.
The company operates from Vonore, Tenn., with satellite locations in Virginia, Oklahoma, Washington, and Ontario. We are currently the manufacturer's sp ecified seat at Kenworth, Navistar, Peterbilt, Sterling, Volvo, and Western Star.
All our truck customers communicate their order requirements via electronic data interchange (EDI), and all products are built to order with little or no paper documentation. This widespread use of just-in-time (JIT) shipping has given National the ability to provide the truck manufacturers with a commercially attractive product combined with the maximum rapid reaction to vehicle demand changes.
The continued strength in the U.S. economy over a prolonged period has provided the base for major developments in the North American trucking industry. We have seen a global trend in ownership consolidation of truck manufacturers, shorter vehicle replacement cycles, and the widespread use of JIT techniques - coupled with the introduction of sophisticated logistics solutions within the supply, distribution and retail markets - with all these factors contributing to the current record levels of demand.
Our nationwide team of OEM technical/commercial liaison engineers and fleet sales personnel gives us an in-depth perspective on the truck market in general, and the specific problems that face our fleet-operator customers.
Over recent years we have recognized a significant uplift in fleet utilization and annual mileage, and this means durability, comfort and safety are basic requirements for all our product offerings.
National Seating shares a common objective with all truck operators in its "100% on time" goal, and as we enter the new millennium the pressure will be on all of us to continuously seek to improve our products and services. The impending launch of our new 'National 2000' product range is intended to build a strong base for the future.
Over the last two years we have researched extensively the opinions and views of our customers at all levels - including the vehicle manufacturers, fleet users, and individual drivers - to enable us to create products that continue to satisfy current requirements while developing features appropriate to future perceptions and needs.
The future by its very definition is uncertain, but we can all be assured that the ability to recruit, train, and retain drivers in a competitive environment will continue to be a primary task for the trucking industry.
The high cost of worker's compensation and both collision and non-collision insurance for heavy-truck operators make comfort and safety features of paramount importance to National Seating's future product strategy.
We have recently secured a partnership/technical collaboration with Autoliv, the foremost provider of automotive safety equipment, as an integral part of the seats that will follow our current products.
This will provide the opportunity for the introduction of several innovative features, involving the use of electronics and advanced sensor technology to further increase the safety and comfort environment of the driver.