Whether it's building axles or drum brakes for big rigs or buses, this company's products are meritorious. Meritor (formerly ArvinMeritor) makes axles, brakes, drivelines, suspension systems, undercarriages, and aftermarket transmissions for commercial truck, trailer, off-highway, construction, military, bus, and specialty vehicle manufacturers. It also makes U-joints, shafts, clutches, and ABS and stability control systems. The company divides its operations across three primary segments: Commercial Truck; Industrial; and Aftermarket & Trailer. Meritor operates around the globe through operations in roughly 20 countries, including Canada, China, France, India, Mexico, Sweden, and South America.
Meritor WABCO is the company's 50/50 joint venture with Belgium-based WABCO. The partnership supplies safety and control systems, such as anti-lock braking systems, automotive traction control, and collision avoidance systems, for commercial vehicles. The company has other joint ventures located in Brazil, India, Mexico, and Turkey.
The company's Commercial Truck segment is its most lucrative, representing 57% of total sales in 2011. Industrial generated 22%; Aftermarket & Trailer, 21%
Sales and Marketing
The company targets customers in the commercial truck, trailer, off-highway, defense, and aftermarket sectors residing in more than 70 countries. Major customers include AB Volvo (24% of total sales), Daimler AG (11%), and Navistar (11%).
Meritor has gradually recovered after suffering a $1.2 billion net loss in 2009. From 2010 to 2011 its revenue increased by 31% due to increased demand across all its segments. Commercial Trucks' revenue jumped by 43% for 2011, while Industrial sales spiked by 17%. Aftermarket & Trailer sales increased 12% due to growth in original equipment volumes in all regions, primarily in the Asia Pacific. The US represents Meritor's largest market, accounting for 33% of total sales. Mexico and South America collectively account for nearly 30%.
From 2010 to 2011 the company's net income skyrocketed by more than 400% from $12 million to $63 million. This impressive surge was due to the higher sales volumes experienced across all segments and lower expenses paid as a result of cost-cutting initiatives the company has made over the course of the last few years.
The trend of commercial vehicle and industrial suppliers consolidating businesses with peers finds Meritor pursuing development opportunities through its own joint ventures, alliances, and acquisitions. It is working to identify adjacent industries, products, and technologies that provide opportunities for diversification, such as the military market. Current efforts include its venture with Lockheed Martin and BAE SYSTEMS for work on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program for the US Department of Defense. The company also supplies components to Navistar for its military programs, including one in conjunction with the UK Ministry of Defense, in addition to being a long-time supplier of axles for Navistar trucks and buses.
The company is developing new technologies to improve fuel efficiency and safety. Some of these projects include its Meritor LogixDrive, an axle system that monitors a vehicle's operating conditions; Smart Systems Technology that integrates electronics and controls to improve vehicle performance; and the Hybrid Class 8 Line-Haul Power Train system, specifically designed for line haul trucks.
In order to focus on the more profitable commercial vehicle and industrial market segments, Meritor divested its Light Vehicle Systems (LVS) business in 2010.
Meritor was spun off from Rockwell Automation in 1997 and known as Meritor Automotive until 2000, when it acquired Arvin Industries and changed its name to ArvinMeritor. Both companies can trace their roots to auto parts makers founded in the early 20th century. – less