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ArvinMeritor inks deal with ConMet, expands into alternative fuel vehicle market

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - ArvinMeritor Inc. Commercial Vehicle Systems (CVS) business group has signed a marketing agreement with Consolidated Metco, Inc. of Portland, Ore....

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – ArvinMeritor Inc. Commercial Vehicle Systems (CVS) business group has signed a marketing agreement with Consolidated Metco, Inc. of Portland, Ore.

The agreement allows for the combination of the MeritorLite ductile iron hubs and the ConMet PreSet bearing packages to create the new PreSet Hub Assemblies. This exclusive agreement begins a long-term alliance between the two companies authorizing ArvinMeritor to market globally the PreSet Iron Hub Assemblies for trailer applications.

The new assembly is designed for low maintenance and extended life, using ConMet’s technology for setting wheel end play and controlling the tolerance between inner- and outer-tapered roller bearings.

The assembly also incorporates premium seals and an advanced gasket/venting hub cap technology.

The hubs are delivered pre-assembled to customers, reducing installation time and the risk of misaligned or damaged components, which can cause premature wheel seal failure.

Effective immediately, ConMet will begin machining the Meritor ductile iron hub, employing its experience in precision machining. The PreSet bearing package and premium seal will then be added to produce the new hub assembly. The hub assembly will be available for trailer applications exclusively through ArvinMeritor with all sales and marketing activities being managed at the company’s headquarters in Troy, Mich. Warranty coverage on this new assembly will be five years/500,000 miles and will be administered through ArvinMeritor’s On-Trac Warranty Centre.

Alternative fuel solutions

ArvinMeritor has also entered into a new alternative-power vehicle development program – focusing on an electric drivetrain – with Unicell Ltd., a medium-duty body builder with operations in Toronto, Ont., and Buffalo, N.Y. The new electric drive vehicle, with a GVWR of 16,000 lbs., will be equipped with a fully electric drivetrain and will be demonstrated to the public in 2006. The initial vehicle application is for pickup and delivery vehicles. The particular fleet name is being withheld pending completion of the vehicle development.

“We are leveraging our experience in electric drive axles and are gaining the know-how to design similar systems for other applications, such as school bus and low-floor bus and coach vehicles,” said Garrick Hu, vice-president of Advanced Engineering for ArvinMeritor’s Commercial Vehicle Systems business unit. Hu added that many commercial vocational applications exist where this type of zero emissions vehicle will become dominant over the next five to 15 years, primarily due to reduced emissions in urban environments.

The rate of adoption will be largely dependent on the cost of battery energy storage relative to the cost of fossil fuel.

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