Charles “Chip” McClure, the newly-appointed chairman, president & CEO of ArvinMeritor, said that major changes in the economic, regulatory, and operational environment of trucking will transform the industry in the near future.
“The driver shortage has intensified; we’ve seen a major increase in regulatory activity both in terms of hours-of-service and emissions,” he said. “There have been major cost increases to fuel and raw materials; and the industry is consolidating like never before -- look at Yellow and Roadway and USF as an example.”
“That not only means change is inevitable, it means a tough business is going to get tougher for fleets, OEMs, and suppliers alike to survive and thrive,” McClure said. “That’s why those that are flexible, adaptable, and quick to respond to changes are going to make it.”
For suppliers like ArvinMeritor, McClure said the keys to survival are going to be limiting capital investment to areas where superior returns and profitable growth are possible, minimizing the impact of business cycles by developing new technologies and diversifying product offerings, and building better relationships with partner companies.
“Finally, we need to better understand the customer’s business so we can meet and then exceed their expectations when it comes to our product performance,” he noted. “Those that are lean, fast, and satisfy customer needs will reap the rewards of success.”