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ArvinMeritor plans a smooth transition with renewed transmission focus

TROY, Mich. -- ArvinMeritor is shifting its sales and marketing strategy away from its line of manual transmissions...

TROY, Mich. — ArvinMeritor is shifting its sales and marketing strategy away from its line of manual transmissions to focus on a German line of automated manual transmissions.

The parts supplier and manufacturer will place a greater emphasis on the sales and marketing of the FreedomLine automated manual transmission by ZF Friedrichshafen in Germany. ArvinMeritor will discontinue manufacturing Meritor manual transmissions, effective January 2007, due to dynamics that have severely limited the company’s addressable markets.

“We are absolutely convinced that we have the most advanced and proven technology solution with the FreedomLine for our North American customers,” said Tom Gosnell, president of the company’s Commercial Vehicle Systems business unit. “We pledge to expand the number of motor carriers and their drivers who are delighted with the performance and benefits of our FreedomLine.”

The company will honor all current manual transmission orders placed with ArvinMeritor 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’s sales, service and aftermarket parts support teams.

Introduced in 1998, the FreedomLine is operated in thousands of trucks. It is a transmission designed with the operator in mind, and it addresses North American end-users’ concerns for driver shortage, driver retention and a significant increase in fuel efficiency, according to the company.

The automated gearbox works in conjunction with the Performance Plus lineup of Meritor axle-brake-suspension components, Sachs brand clutches and Meritor WABCO vehicle control systems.

Production of the FreedomLine will remain in ArvinMeritor’s Laurinburg, N.C., facility and the workforce connected with the manual transmissions will be absorbed into production positions on other components in the facility.

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