All That's Trucking

Meritor Looks to Electrified Future

Blog Commentary by Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

August 10, 2017

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Electrification will be the next big step for trucking companies, Meritor CEO says from CNBC.

Meritor, in the midst of a three-year push to unveil 20 significant new products as part of its growth strategy, is also looking to a not-so-distant future where electrification will be a major factor in commercial trucks.

Speaking this week on CNBC's "Mad Money," Meritor CEO Jay Craig talked about the company's history, the success of its three-year M2016 turnaround strategy, its current M2019 three-year strategy, and the importance of longer-term strategy.

Meritor CEO Jay Craig talks to CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer. Screen shot
Meritor CEO Jay Craig talks to CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer. Screen shot

"Mad Money" host Jim Cramer, who was interviewing Craig to find out more about not only Meritor but also why Class 8 orders are "on fire," pointed out that Meritor recently hired a chief strategy officer. Craig noted that Meritor’s “very satisfied” with its M2016 strategy, a three-year plan it wrapped up last year that nearly doubled the profit margin of the company. It’s in the midst of its next three-year plan, M2019. “But what I want to see us do is look more long term, make sure we’re setting ourselves up for longer-term strategy as well.”

Speaking later more about those longer-term strategies, Craig noted that while there is work being done on autonomous truck technologies, specifically referencing Daimler's 2015 "Inspiration Truck," for Meritor, what's going on in the world of electrification is more significant.

“We have a big push on electrification right now, we think we’re establishing a strong position in that marketplace, as we see the trend of commercial vehicles most likely moving where light vehicles are, more highly electrified.”

As HDT's Jack Roberts pointed out in a recent column, there have been a lot of advances in electrification in the past year or so. Much of it has been in Europe, but with the global nature of the truck business these days, we can expect to see more news about it in the U.S. as well, especially in congested and polluted urban areas such as New York City, Los Angeles, and the southern California ports.

As Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, Scania’s chief researcher for vehicle electrification, said, “We have gone from treating electrification primarily as a research area to having many discussions with customers who want to make the shift to sustainable transport.”

Meanwhile, we're expecting more news on Meritor's electrification plans and other new products from Meritor at next month's North American Commercial Vehicle Show. And you can read more about truck electrification in the September issue of HDT.

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Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

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All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.


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