Coretalk: GM, DaimlerChrysler Join Forces To Produce Hybrid Automobile Engines By '07
General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG are teaming up to develop fuel-saving hybrid engines in hopes of cashing in on an expanding market already dominated by hybrid leaders Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., according to the Associated Press.
Although financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed, the collaboration is likely to involve an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars between the automakers.
The first of the vehicles is to debut in 2007 - when Toyota has said it hopes its hybrid model sales will total several hundred thousand worldwide.
GM, which has worked with DaimlerChrysler on transmissions, has also said it considers hybrids a bridge to longer-range hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which require no fossil fuel and release no toxic emissions.
"This says that both recognize what Toyota is doing," said Mike Flynn, director of the University of Michigan's Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation in Ann Arbor. "You need to have some interim, environmentally friendlier technology."
Hybrids draw power from two energy sources: typically a gas or diesel engine combined with an electric motor. Demand has grown worldwide because of concerns about the dangers of global warming, decreasing natural fuel supplies and the rising cost of those fuels. Although hybrids make up only a minute percentage of global auto sales, Stephens noted that some analysts believe hybrids eventually could account for 5 percent to 15 percent of global volume.
GM and Chrysler already sell hybrid pickups, but the systems are less advanced and fuel-efficient than those used on cars sold by Toyota and Honda and on Ford Motor Co.'s hybrid version of its Escape sport-utility vehicle, the world's first gas-electric hybrid SUV.
Babcox Acquires Fleet Equipment and Transport
Technology Today Magazines
Babcox Publications has acquired Fleet Equipment and Transport Technology Today (T3) magazines, two national trade publications that reach truck fleet equipment management and information technology (IT) arenas.
Each month, Fleet Equipment targets an audience of qualified fleet equipment managers who are directly responsible for specifying and buying trucks, trailers, components and parts, fuel and oil, tires and wheels, support services and other components necessary for a fleet's efficient and profitable operation.
Founded in 1974, Fleet Equipment is a 63,000 circulation BPA-audited publication that is 100% dedicated to equipment management and maintenance. It is the only business magazine focused solely on the management and purchase of truck equipment.
T3, founded in 1995, targets the largest market for information technology in the world. The transportation and logistics industry includes 85,000 companies and 14 million workers. T3 is the only publication in this industry that features 100% information technology.
T3 provides detailed information to CIOs, CFOs, CEOs and other C-level executives in the commercial vehicle and mobile workforce industry. It informs them how to streamline their business processes and optimize the functionality of enterprise systems so they can effectively use existing and emerging technology.
According to Bill Babcox, president of Babcox Publications, "The purchase of these two magazines expands our comprehensive lineup of publications for the automotive aftermarket to now include the truck fleet equipment management and information technology (IT) arenas. These respected magazines, and their editorial staffs, broaden our reach and offer outstanding publications for the marketplace."
Federal-Mogul TEC Student To Win Classic El Camino SS
In 2005 Training Promo
The Federal-Mogul Technical Education Center (TEC) will give away a 1966 Chevrolet El Camino SS with a "numbers-matching" engine and rare package of factory options to an engine rebuilder, professional technician or parts counterperson through its 2005 Federal-Mogul Training Excellence Sweepstakes.
Any qualified aftermarket professional may enter the sweepstakes by enrolling in a 2005 TEC training workshop or field clinic, or by contacting TEC for course information. There is no entry fee or enrollment requirement. The Training Excellence Sweepstakes drawing will be held in mid-December 2005.
Federal-Mogul TEC, based in St. Louis, MO, operates professional education programs, with on-site and field training workshops including cylinder head reconditioning, block reconditioning and high performance engine service.
The street-ready El Camino SS features Chevrolet's popular and powerful 1966 big-block 396-cubic-inch engine, automatic transmission and fully restored body and interior. The vehicle also includes an impressive array of factory options, including air conditioning, power windows, tilt wheel, power steering and power brakes.
To contact the TEC for course information and to enroll in the sweepstakes, visit: www.federal-mogul.com/training.
Trucking Industry Will Not Seek to Delay Federal 2007 Emissions Regulations
Despite years of resistance, the U.S. trucking industry has stated that it will not attempt to delay a new federal rule aimed at cutting diesel pollution. The American Trucking Association (ATA), a trade group, says it is satisfied by the Bush administration's attention to industry concerns. The Clinton-era rule, which is supported by the Bush administration, requires cleaner diesel fuel beginning in 2006, and less-polluting diesel engines in tractor-trailers and other heavy-duty trucks and buses starting in 2007.
The new rule specifically requires refiners to lower the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel for truck and bus engines from the current level of 500 parts per million to less than 15 parts per million by June 2006. As a result, less pollution will be emitted from tailpipes.
In addition, the rule requires manufacturers to phase in cleaner-burning diesel engines for tractor-trailers and other heavy-duty trucks and buses between 2007 and 2010. New trucks are expected to cost an average $5,000 to $10,000 more than the current models.
EPA estimates that the new rule will cut emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxides, soot, carbon monoxide, acid rain-causing sulfur dioxide and other air toxins, preventing 8,300 premature deaths, more than 9,500 hospitalizations and 1.5 million lost work days.
Clevite Announces 2004 'Engine Builders Of The Year' For NASCAR Series
Randy Dorton, director of engine development with Hendrick Motorsports and builder for the No. 24 car of Jeff Gordon, posthumously received the coveted "Engine Builder of the Year Award" for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series from Clevite Engine Parts. Dorton's award was formally announced at the yearly NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series banquet on December 3. Dorton's wife, Dianne, accepted on his behalf. This is the second Clevite Engine Builder of the Year honor for Dorton.
Joe London of Chance 2 Motorsports and builder for the No. 8 car of Martin Truex, Jr., took home the award for the NASCAR Busch Series and received a cash prize of $10,000. This is the first Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award for London.
Joey Arrington of Arrington Manufacturing and engine builder for the No. 1 truck of Ted Musgrave with Ultra Motorsports received his second Clevite Engine Builder of the Year nod for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series along with a $10,000 cash prize for his achievement.
Clevite's Engine Builder of the Year program began in 1985 as a competition for engine builders whose teams use Clevite 77 engine bearings in their racecars. Clevite Engine Parts uses various scoring criteria to rate the engine builders during 23 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races that take place during the yearlong competition.
For more information about the program go to www.engineparts.com.
First-Ever Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week Planned for 2006 in Las Vegas
A joint operating committee comprised of the leading heavy duty aftermarket associations and organizations has announced the creation of the first-ever Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week to be held in Las Vegas in February 2006.
The new venue will feature a trade show, training, educational and social functions and one-one-on-one business meetings. The event format is in response to requests from manufacturers, distributors and truck fleet/heavy duty service specialists to reduce the number of meetings and redundancy in the heavy-duty aftermarket.
Joint operating committee members include: Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association, Heavy Duty Distribution Association (HDDA), National Wheel & Rim Association, Service Specialists Association and Truck Pride. Other groups actively involved in the event are Heavy Duty America, Fleet Pride and VIPAR.
David Scheer, president of Inland Truck Parts Company, was elected chair of the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week joint operating Committee.
In related news: the HDDA will withdraw its participation in the 2005 Council of Fleet Specialists (CFS) Executive Conference in April.
The HDDA Board of Governors determined that its members and the heavy-duty industry at large would be better served by focusing its resources on the new Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week in Las Vegas, NV.
Hemi Reaches 300,000 Engines Sold
Sales of the Hemi engine have hit 300,000 units since the V-8's introduction in the 2003 model year, said the Chrysler group in a recent Automotive News report.
On average, 46 percent of customers choose the 5.7-liter Hemi engine when it is offered in a Chrysler vehicle, the company says.
Chrysler says the Hemi is chosen 54 percent of the time on the Dodge Durango, 46 percent on the Dodge Ram, 43 percent on the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Magnum, and 29 percent on the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
A larger 6.1-liter 425-horsepower Hemi will debut in the spring in the 2005 Chrysler 300C SRT8. Preliminary performance targets for the SRT8 are 0-60 mph in the "low five-second range" and a quarter-mile time in the "high 13-second range," the company says.
Chrysler's Saltillo, Mexico, engine plant builds the Hemi engines.
Leadership 2010 Industry Reports Now Available
The University of the Aftermarket has issued reports from this year's Leadership 2010 program.
The Leadership 2010 program brings together a diverse cross-section of individuals from aftermarket manufacturers, distributors and automotive service providers. A key component of this leadership development program is conducting primary research on issues of critical importance to the automotive aftermarket industry.
This year, the program looked at the following topics: Competing against the OE dealer for technicians; The effect of the brand relationship of 18-35 year olds and their service professional choice; The evolving competencies needed for the successful service technical/shop owner of the future: a competency model; Understanding the buying decision behind the independent aftermarket technician's decision to install economy, private label or national brands; The leading impediments preventing dealers from participating in E-catalog system integration.
To review findings of these reports, go to www.univaftmkt.org and click on the "Industry Reports" menu button.
Truck Stocks Outpace Markets as Profits Exceed Expectations
Trucking stocks as a group have more than tripled the gains of the overall stock market this year, and probably will continue outpacing the market next year as fleets push profits higher, said analysts in a recent HD America report.
Trucking stocks in the past year have gained nearly 25%, compared with an 8% rise for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Similarly, prices of other transportation companies have also run ahead of the overall stock market over the past 12 months.
Stock analysts said share prices of publicly traded trucking companies reflected the firms' ability to consistently stay ahead of profit expectations by increasing freight rates and limiting capacity as freight volumes surge.
SB International Installs New Database Management System
SB International of Nashville, TN recently selected 21st Century Graphic Technologies and Omnitek Information Systems Inc. to install a new database management system. S.B. International (SBI) is a full-line supplier of cylinder head components to the engine parts distributor, production head rebuilder and private label market.
Gino Leone, director of Information Systems for SBI, said the company did extensive research before choosing a solution provider.
"There were two key factors that led us to choosing 21st Century Graphic Technologies and Omnitek Information Systems Inc," said Leone. "First was their use of state-of-the-art technology, including Microsoft's SQL 2000 database and the emerging .NET framework. We wanted a flexible solution that could easily adapt to our constantly evolving requirements, and we felt that 21st Century Graphic Technologies had the technology and expertise that would fit us.
Following implementation of the system, the company produced a new catalog, which Leone said was a very simple process. "With literally the push of a few buttons, we now can render a complete catalog with output suitable for handing off to our printer, or for electronic distribution to our customers and sales force," said Leone. "The cost savings from completely eliminating the typesetting phase, and being able to dramatically reduce our print quantity in lieu of the electronic media, has nearly paid for our system."
The team of professionals from 21st Century Graphic Technologies and Omnitek Information Systems Inc. have developed data management solutions designed to provide the tools and solutions necessary to improve and increase the efficiency of their partners. At its core, the company said it believes that uniting people, improving processes and implementing the correct technology will help the overall productivity of a business, and enable users to manage, control and access data to all their products.
For more information, visit: www.omnitekinc.com. For more information on SB International visit: www.sbintl.com.
Cummins Enters Into Joint Venture Agreement for China Technical Center
Global engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. has signed a joint venture contract agreement with Dongfeng Cummins Engine Co. Ltd. (DCEC) to establish its first technical center in China. The facility is expected to open in the first quarter of 2006 in the central China city of Wuhan.
The Cummins East Asia Tech Center will provide engineering and technical services for the full range of Cummins products built in China, including diesel and natural gas engines, power generators, turbochargers and filtration products.
The center, a 55-45 joint venture between Cummins and DCEC, respectively, will become Cummins' first technical center in China. DCEC is a 50-50 joint venture between Cummins and Dongfeng Automobile Co. Ltd.
The agreement expands the 18-year partnership between Cummins and Dongfeng in China that includes a joint venture engine plant in Xiangfan, which is Cummins second-largest manufacturing facility by volume, and a joint venture filtration plant, Shanghai Fleetguard.
"Cummins and Dongfeng have enjoyed a strong and successful partnership for many years, and the Cummins East Asia Tech Center will allow both companies to take even greater advantage of China's continued growth," said Cummins Chairman and CEO Tim Solso, who was in Wuhan to witness the signing ceremony as part of a weeklong visit to Cummins operations in China. "China is one of our most important international markets, and the creation of this technical center is crucial to our growth strategy in the country."
Cummins said sales in China will exceed $1 billion this year, representing nearly 10 percent of the company's total consolidated and unconsolidated revenue.
For more information, go to: www.cummins.com.
Aftermarket to "Drive Our Message to the Hill"
Controversial Issues Fuel Support for Legislative Summit
More than 200 aftermarket industry representatives from across the nation are gearing up to attend the 2005 Aftermarket Legislative Summit, March 1-2 in Washington, D.C., according to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). The goal of the Summit is to help ensure that policymakers have the information they need from the automotive aftermarket to ensure they make educated and informed decisions.
The major issues that will be highlighted during the Summit include: The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act; association health plans; anti-counterfeiting; and asbestos litigation reform legislation.
"The Aftermarket Legislative Summit is an exciting opportunity for members of the aftermarket to sit down with their Representatives and Senators in Washington to discuss the issues that impact our industry," said Aaron Lowe, AAIA vice president, government affairs. "There is no better way for members of the aftermarket industry to learn about, and have an impact upon, public policy."
Large numbers of legislators and staff are expected to attend the legislative reception on Capitol Hill on the evening of March 1. The Aftermarket Legislative Summit will begin on March 2 with an issue briefing at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Attendees will hear first hand from a federal legislator and aftermarket industry experts about issues that impact businesses, as well as an update on the political landscape in the 109th Congress and how changes in Washington could impact our industry.
"Interest in the Legislative Summit has been growing and we expect the upcoming Summit to generate an even greater awareness of our industry on Capitol Hill," Lowe said.
Co-sponsors of the Summit include: Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, Alliance of State Automotive Aftermarket Associations, Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association, Coalition for Auto Repair Equality, Heavy Duty Distribution Association, Service Station Dealers of America and Tire Industry Association.
For additional information on the Summit or to register online, visit: www.aftermarket.org/events/legislative_summit/legislative_summit.asp, or contact Aaron Lowe at 301-654-6664.