Bendix, MEMA Leaders Push Safety Measures

For the second time this year, leaders from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC are part of a Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) delegation that’s on its way to Washington, D.C. The group will meet this week with members of Congress and congressional staff to show its support for legislation and tax incentives that improve safety on our roadways.

Bendix, which develops and manufactures safety and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, has emerged as a strong advocate for legislative activities that could help accelerate the adoption of vital safety technologies for commercial vehicles. Today and Wednesday, a group of Bendix senior management and business leaders will continue that advocacy through their participation in the fifth annual MEMA Legislative Summit. The summit will feature meetings, networking opportunities, and presentations to help shape legislative priorities.

Bendix participants in the summit include: Anthony LaPlaca, vice president and general counsel; Fred Andersky, director of marketing for the controls product business team; and Andrew Cifranic, brand manager.

Late last year, Bendix was the only manufacturer of active safety and braking systems to promote a position of support and advocacy for the Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Act of 2007, also known as H.R. 3820. The proposed bill would provide a tax credit equal to 50 percent of the cost of any qualified commercial vehicle safety system. Bendix develops and manufactures two active safety technologies that could qualify for the credit: the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program and its Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

“The Bendix vision has long been one of improved highway safety, and our primary focus is to deliver cost-effective solutions that make the roadways safer,” said Joseph J. McAleese, president and CEO of Bendix. “H.R. 3820 is just one example of a congressional initiative that could make critical vehicle safety technologies even more accessible for today’s safety-conscious fleets. It is our hope that our participation in the MEMA Legislative Summit and similar events will increase the visibility of these important issues.”

This year’s summit will also address growing concerns about the economy and the struggle to keep manufacturing operations in the United States. Automotive suppliers will provide insight about the impact of issues such as skyrocketing energy costs, the environment, health care, tariffs, and globalization. Increased costs are forcing many U.S. suppliers to more frequently pass along the increases to their customers, many of whom, in turn, rebuff the action by turning to knockoff or counterfeit parts. Cifranic said counterfeiting compromises highway safety.

“We believe it’s important for our elected officials to understand the importance of legislation that can protect the public from these inferior products,” Cifranic said. “Not only can counterfeiting compromise public safety, it also leads to loss of revenue for many U.S. companies. We are committed to taking action to prevent the entry of counterfeit parts into our marketplace.”

Cifranic also serves as the co-chair of MEMA’s Brand Protection Council, which is charged with responding to the growing challenges of intellectual property, diversion, noncompliant products, and counterfeiting issues. The council will meet during the summit, and will present awards to organizations that have made exceptional efforts to protect the supply chain by keeping counterfeit products out of the marketplace.

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