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Bendix CEO takes helm as HDMA chairman

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- During his first address as the chairman of the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) boar...

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — During his first address as the chairman of the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) board of directors, Joe McAleese, president and CEO of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, encouraged members to be in a position to adapt, achieve and grow as the trucking industry enters what is expected to be a period of long-term growth. McAleese was installed as the organization’s 2008 chair during Heavy Duty Dialogue in Las Vegas yesterday.

McAleese urged his fellow members to prepare for the future by planning for sustainable growth, recognizing the emergence of the global economy, and ensuring safety through means such as new technology and anti-counterfeiting measures.

“As we look to the future of our industry, we must be even more steadfast in our efforts to develop and protect our brands and our intellectual property,” McAleese told the audience. “We must create even more attractive work environments that enable us to win the competition for talent. And we must continue to provide the best value to our customers; to become suppliers capable of delivering on a worldwide scale, capable of growing and evolving to fit the needs of our customers in the global marketplace.”

McAleese, who will serve as chairman during HDMA’s 25th Anniversary, spoke about the economic difficulties the industry has faced over the past year and stressed it will likely be the second half of 2008 before things turn around. But he was optimistic about the future, citing the economic indicators that forecast a prosperous period in the years to come.

Despite economic cycles such as the downturn expected to accompany the next round of engine emissions regulations in 2010, McAleese referred to recent studies conducted on behalf of the American Trucking Association that predict the overall truck population will increase by 44% over the next decade, presenting a great opportunity for the commercial vehicle industry to continue to develop. By preparing for the future through research and development, continued cultivation of strong government relations, and further improvement of overall industry productivity through technology and process enhancements, McAleese said he is confident the industry will have the ability to adapt to an ever-evolving, competitive market.

“To me, growth is about more than achieving the bottom line,” he added. “It’s about how we develop as an industry. It’s about increasing the value we deliver to our customers. And it’s about how we prepare for the ebbs and flows that are inevitable. We will only achieve sustainable, long-term growth if we prepare for both the highs and lows we will surely face in the future.”

McAleese has served on the HDMA board’s executive committee since 2004. He was elected to the MEMA board of directors in 2006 and currently serves on its executive and nominating committees. He is a long-time member of the Heavy Duty Business Forum, an HDMA executive discussion group, and also serves on its board of governors.

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