MHT Companies Respond to Soaring Metals Prices

April 11, 2008
Marmon Highway Technologies (MHT) companies will act immediately to deal with skyrocketing global metals prices

Marmon Highway Technologies (MHT) companies will act immediately to deal with skyrocketing global metals prices, MHT President Kelly Dier announced.

MHT companies will communicate with their respective customers about specific actions in response to the steep, rapid increase in metals prices.
MHT companies, under many brands -- Fontaine, Webb, Leland, Perfection, Triangle, Fleetline, Nuline and Hogebuilt -- engineer, manufacture and supply a broad range of products to the highway transportation industry, including brake systems, transport trailers, fifth wheels, leaf springs, spray suppression equipment, specialty drive axles, truck modifications and clutches.

Metals are the primary raw material in virtually all products supplied by MHT companies and constitute a high percentage of the total production cost. Since January, metal prices have increased at previously unseen rates. Scrap prices alone increased $243 per ton or 88% in the first quarter. On April 1, scrap bundles sold at an increase of $155 per ton.

Until now, continuous efficiency improvements have allowed MHT companies to absorb portions of the ongoing rise in metals prices. However, the severe and rapid escalation in metals prices now requires MHT companies to recover these greatly increased costs and the additional expenses needed to support increased accounts receivable and inventory investment.

Dier said that if this unprecedented increase in metals prices proves to be speculation driven, creating a pricing bubble, MHT companies will act quickly to make the appropriate adjustments.

"These immediate actions are essential to allow us to continue our long history of providing innovative products and unsurpassed service," Dier said. "As the technology leader in our product categories, we are absolutely committed to research and development that will continue to reduce weight, improve product performance and deliver market-leading value to meet the needs of our customers."