While at the Mid-America Trucking Show, I visited with Joe ElBehairy, Meritor’s top techie. But that’s not what his business card reads; his official title is vice-president of engineering and quality. We spoke of trends in the...
While at the Mid-America Trucking Show, I visited with Joe ElBehairy, Meritor’s top techie. But that’s not what his business card reads; his official title is vice-president of engineering and quality. We spoke of trends in the industry and I appreciated the level of insight he provided. You can read the complete interview here. But what I found really interesting were his thoughts on what is coming down the pike. When asked what trends we should be watching for, he mentioned lightweighting and vehicle dynamics. Here’s more:
“Lightweighting. There’s always a double-edged sword when it comes to lightweighting because there’s usually a cost impact that goes with it and the majority of vehicle platforms aren’t willing to pay a premium for lightweighting. As a result, we can’t apply those economies of scale and make further advances. If 80% of the market was going after lightweighting, imagine the scale you’d have and the cost reduction you’d get from doing that. So that’s a big challenge.
“The other thing you’ll see is more focus on vehicle dynamics, specifically suspension integration. A Class 8 truck is not typically thought of in the context of handling, but one OEM is developing a rear suspension that’s targeted at increasing roll stiffness. You wouldn’t inherently think about that, but we see that as a trend.”
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