Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of SmarTire Systems Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, SmarTire has been a leader in developing and marketing wireless sensing and control systems and advanced tire-monitoring solutions for commercial vehicles.
The transaction – which closed on December 11 – will immediately incorporate the company’s assets to become a part of the electronics business unit of Bendix. The move will complement the other leading safety technologies such as the Bendix ESP® Electronic Stability Program and Bendix Adaptive Cruise Control. Proceeds from the sale closing will be held in escrow subject to SmarTire obtaining consent of its shareholders at a meeting to be held in March 2009.
“The SmarTire asset acquisition is another mark of our continued commitment to provide our customers with a full range of innovative commercial vehicle braking system solutions. We strongly believe in the potential of this technology,” said Joe McAleese, Bendix president and CEO. “At the same time, this move is another important step in our overall business growth plan. Through continued diversification of our business and the incorporation of patent-protected technologies, we continue to strengthen our ability to deliver even more value to our customers and help ensure our sustainability now and in the future.”
SmarTire and SmartWave technologies will enhance the evolving set of Bendix chassis-based safety components. Bendix believes tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) – already mandatory on passenger vehicles in North America – are one of the technologies to help achieve comprehensive commercial vehicle advanced safety technology. TPMS is currently being reviewed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as part of an investigation into the mitigation of tire failure in commercial vehicles. In the European Union, a current initiative aims to ensure a mandate requiring TPMS in passenger vehicles.
“Tire pressure and temperature monitoring technologies – applicable for power vehicles, trailers, trucks, buses, and RVs – are efficient and cost-effective means to help reduce fuel consumption, enhance brake system performance, and reduce fleet operating costs. The system provides on-demand, real-time tire pressure status and automatically warns the driver of an under-inflated tire before it becomes dangerous,” said Scott Burkhart, vice president – controls business unit at Bendix.