Meritor followed its Tuesday morning release of its 2019 first-quarter earnings report with a trio of aftermarket announcements during a press conference Tuesday at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) 2019 in Las Vegas.
During the press event Meritor announced the expansion of its Euclid suspension brand, the launch of more ReadySet No-Ream King Pin Kit sets on its e-commerce website and the expansion of its Aftermarket product training program for dealers, distributors, fleets and service garages.
Regarding the latter, Meritor says the training focus is part of the company’s growing focus on customer experience. The course expansion includes live instructor-led interactive distance training (IDT), 12 new regional training events, and options for French and Spanish instruction through its BullPen online training site.
“The breadth of our multi-platform offerings demonstrates our commitment to meet industry needs for training wherever and whenever customers need help expanding their knowledge base,” says Doug Dole, director, technical products and training, Meritor. “We’ll continuously expand our programs based on demand from customers who averaged more than 9,000 online courses each month last year.”
The company says its training portfolio for 2019 includes almost 260 web-based, classroom and onsite programs. Since the online portal Bullpen launched in 2004, more than 350,000 courses have been completed online. In 2018, 1,500 customers attended over 60 instructor-led sessions. The company says live online IDT seminars led by an experienced industry professional are held the second Wednesday of every month at 11 a.m. ET. Each 30-minute seminar focuses on a different topic every month covering important and timely information as well as updates to key systems and components. Meritor instructors deliver the same level of interpersonal communication participants would experience in a physical classroom, including the ability to obtain direct answers to questions about specific technical issues from participants.
“Live interaction with an instructor during sessions where participants see, hear and receive direct feedback improves the customer experience with Meritor products,” says Joe Baumer, training manager for Meritor.
Additionally, the company says it is enhancing Bullpen by adding courses in Spanish and French, greatly expanding training availability for customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Meritor plans to have more than 40 courses available in both languages before the end of 2019. Meritor also says it will continue to conduct in-person, onsite training at regional and customer locations to serve people desiring conventional training. In 2019, regional day-long technical training events for salespeople and management and evening sessions for service technicians and shop managers are scheduled for Tampa, Fla.; San Antonio, Texas; Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; Birmingham Ala.; Sacramento, Calif., Chicago; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; London, Ontario, Canada; Philadelphia and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
New king pin availability, added suspension parts
Meritor says its ReadySet No-Ream King Pin Kits on MeritorPartsXpress.com (MPX) to help customers more easily find a king pin kit for major axle applications.
“With this new launch supported by easier search functionality on MPX for king pins, we now offer a full portfolio covering multiple pin diameters and lengths for fleets requiring quick maintenance,” says Joe Ghering, senior manager, steering and suspension, Meritor.
ReadySet with pre-sized bushings is ideal for linehaul, vocational, city delivery and bus applications. The kit is offered under the Meritor aftermarket brand and fits a range of axle applications from Meritor, Dana, Eaton, Spicer and Ford. Meritor says the no-ream bushing is a cost-effective option that saves labor over conventional bushing kits that require reaming and is easily installed. With the kit, king pin bushings do not need to be reamed after they are installed into the steering knuckle, which saves labor, time and equipment costs. Instead of pressing in the bushings, customers can use applicable bushing drivers for easy installation, the company says.
With the addition of the ReadySet line to Meritor’s king pin portfolio, Meritor also now has a complete offering that meets multiple price point requirements and covers 95 percent of the market for ream and no-ream applications. ReadySet king pin kits are covered by Meritor’s standard one-year aftermarket warranty and are backed by extensive customer support. And Meritor also is making it easier for customers to identify and purchase king pins by adding Xact Search functionality to MPX. Previously, customers had to know which kit fit their application or would have to call Meritor for technical assistance. Now, Meritor says customers can identify the right king pin by entering make, model, year and axle manufacturer into the search fields and will see all Meritor’s kits with different bushing offerings for the axle regardless of original manufacturer.
The company also on Tuesday announced planned expansion of its OEM suspension portfolio under its high-quality Euclid brand to include more than 1,450 parts covering multiple applications.
“Our warehouses now stock a wide selection of high-quality suspensions from a trusted brand that are designed and engineered for multiple applications,” says Tyler Bernens, senior product manager, suspension, Meritor.
The company says the expanded Euclid OEM suspension portfolio now includes:
- More than 350 parts Hutch suspensions
- More than 550 parts covering Hendrickson truck, trailer and auxiliary suspensions
- In excess of 330 parts for almost all Reyco/Granning truck and trailer suspensions
The parts are backed by Meritor’s standard, nationwide one-year parts warranty.
Joe Plomin, Meritor senior vice president and president, Aftermarket, Industrial and Quality, says these announcements should help the company maintain the strong momentum it earned in the first quarter. The company’s Aftermarket & Industrial segment posted sales of $257 million, up $28 million or 12 percent, from the same period last year.
Plomin says higher sales were driven by increased aftermarket volumes across North America and higher sales in the Industrial business.
“Our business is quite robust right now,” he says.