A new global identity, a new web site and a factory installation option on Freightliner trucks may help Webasto get a bigger market for its auxiliary climate control systems.

At the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., today, Webasto officials announced that Freightliner Corp. is now offering Webasto's Air Top 2000 auxiliary air heater as a published databook option for its Century, Columbia and Coronado models. Air Top 2000 provides 7,000 Btu/h of sleeper heat without idling. Providing up to 20 hours of heat on a single gallon of fuel, compared to using over a gallon of fuel per hour when idling, the Air Top 2000 offers a way to save money with today's high fuel costs. It is installed underneath the sleeper bunk and operated from a control panel mounted on the sleeper wall. Heat is distributed through underbunk ducting and vents and outlet.
Webasto officials believe the factory install option will appeal to larger fleets. The bigger the fleet, the less likely they are to want to purchase auxiliary heating systems through the aftermarket, said Franz Neumeyer, vice president and general manager.
Webasto is also pushing the aftermarket devices through a partnership with Volvo Trucks North America. An advisory program is designed to educate Volvo parts managers about auxiliary heaters. A package containing a Volvo Product Alert and Webasto product brochures was sent to Volvo dealers. "Used as an integral part of a comprehensive fuel management program, Webasto heaters will contribute to a significant reduction in non-productive fuel consumption for your customers," reads the Product Alert.
To help demonstrate the fuel savings available, Webasto offers a fuel savings calculator on its new web site, www.webasto.com. The site is arranged by market, so you can go into the "trucks" section and find the related product information. (Webasto also makes products for the automotive, marine, RV, bus and other markets.) A point-and-click map offers an easy way to find the nearest Webasto dealer or distributor. You can print produce brochures and technical manuals directly from the site.
Webasto has also launched a global corporate identity program, with a redesigned logo and a new corporate slogan: "Feel the Drive." The slogan "signals Webasto's unique position as a leading manufacturer of powerful solutions that deliver comfort on the move for our customers," said Neumeyer.