ArvinMeritor, Axle Alliance sign memorandum of understanding

ArvinMeritor, Inc. announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Axle Alliance Co. (AAC), a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler headquartered in Detroit, Mich. Under the terms of the proposed long-term agreement, ArvinMeritor would become the turnkey supplier in providing heavy-duty tandem rear drive axles to AAC, ultimately for Freightliner's North American Class 8 truck assembly operations.

Implementation of this memorandum is subject to the execution of a definitive agreement.

With this memorandum of understanding, ArvinMeritor will partner with AAC on the design, development and assembly of heavy-duty axles from ArvinMeritor facilities in York, S.C., Monterrey, Mexico, and Asheville, N.C.

ArvinMeritor and AAC have had a cooperative working relationship for more than five years, together bridging the gap between American and European axle technologies. ArvinMeritor and AAC will continue to work together in a partnership to successfully support the DaimlerChrysler worldwide truck axle platform strategy.

"ArvinMeritor will continue to produce its own axle designs for Freightliner, and under this announced memorandum of understanding, we will become the turnkey supplier of a new line of proprietary AAC tandem axles," said Tom Gosnell, president of ArvinMeritor's Commercial Vehicle Systems business group. "This incremental relationship for ArvinMeritor has opened the door for growth in our axle component supply business around the world. We're geared up to become a much larger player, and welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our global competitiveness to DCX."

Christof Traidl, president and CEO of Axle Alliance Company, said, "Axle Alliance Company -- by partnering with ArvinMeritor -- is securing a competitive launch of our product. Using ArvinMeritor's existing resources, we will avoid redundant asset implementation and merge best practice methods from the two major axle players in the world."

Rainer Schmueckle, Freightliner LLC President and CEO, said, "Freightliner is pleased to incorporate the new DaimlerChrysler proprietary axles which are available exclusively to customers of our truck, bus and chassis brands. Across the company's brands and product lines, we offer a range of proprietary components including Mercedes-Benz medium- and heavy-duty engines and Mercedes-Benz manual and automated transmissions. Now the introduction of these new proprietary axles will provide exclusive performance benefits and value to our customers."

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