Hendrickson eyes global markets, new products
When a company captures the lion’s share of its domestic market, further growth often requires new markets and new products. Hendrickson said it is aggressively pursuing both strategies at an Aug. 25 press conference held in conjunction with the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.
Pointing to the explosive growth in truck production in India and Asia, Baine Adams, Hendrickson’s vice president of global sales and marketing, outlined the company’s strategies to further penetrate these international markets, including the recently announced joint venture with Sinotruk, China’s largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer.
Adams said Class 8 truck production in Asia is expected to exceed five million units by 2015 – nearly one million of which will be built in China – and nearly 250,000 heavy-duty units will be manufactured in India. Hendrickson also has a joint-venture agreement with Indian vehicle manufacturer Tata AutoComp Systems Ltd.
To support the company’s partnership with Sinotruk to design and manufacture suspension systems for its vehicles, Hendrickson established a manufacturing facility in Jinan, Shandong Province, China, which began operations earlier this year and is expected to reach full production in the fourth quarter.
Noting that each new international venture requires unique products, Adams said “key to our success has been our global testing capabilities,” helping ensure product quality and performance meets the specific needs of each market.
But the company’s focus is not all abroad. Hendrickson introduced its new Aero Guard bumper it said is lightweight, aerodynamic and durable.
Available in September for International’s ProStar tractors, the two-piece resin bumper – made from recyclable materials – has been in development for four years and establishes technology the company said will lead to other bumpers, visors and fairings. Aero Guard will be available for other makes and models in the future.
The Aero Guard design eliminates structural backers and braces, reducing weight and complexity. The company said the material remains ductile to minus-40 degrees Fahrenheit for improved cold impact durability, and can withstand temperatures as high as 225 degrees F, such as those encountered in OEM paint-drying ovens.
The simpler design means easier and faster installation both in production and aftermarket, the company said. It also incorporates higher all-around ground clearance to help prevent off-road damage.