The merger of Meritor operations into Cummins continues to progress ahead of schedule, representatives from Cummins reported during a media event Tuesday at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) in Grapevine, Texas.
Last year’s HDAW was the first major show for the operations after Cummins finalized its acquisition of Meritor in August 2022. At the time, Cummins’ executives shared the company’s vision for how Meritor’s product line would fit within the global engine maker’s operations. In Tuesday’s update, Cummins-Meritor Global Aftermarket Leader Alan Rabadi said the company is about a third of the way through its three-year integration journey and, “overall, things are going extremely well.”
“We have a good balance of legacy Meritor people and legacy Cummins people working to bring the business together,” he said. “We’re on or ahead of schedule from what we said at the time of the acquisition.”
Rabadi said 99% of legacy Meritor operations have been integrated into Cummins Components division, one of five business units within the company. Meritor’s Blue Horizon e-axle is the exception, as that technology and related development now reside within Accelera and Cummins’ alternative power operations.
Rabadi also noted morale within the merging operations is incredibly strong. By not rushing to combine the two businesses, Rabadi said Cummins leadership was able to present a measured, comprehensive integration strategy that all employees understand and have been able to execute. Those processes have paid dividends in the market too.
“Anxiety levels have come way down — internally and externally,” he said.
Cummins-Meritor also used Tuesday’s meeting to highlight aftermarket initiatives completed in 2023 and planned for 2024.
Director of Product Management Brittany Soika addressed Cummins-Meritor’s continued focus on its core products—drivetrain and braking systems. On the braking side, she said the company has made substantial investments to its Plainfield, Ind., remanufacturing facility to increase capacity for brake shoe remanufacturing and add air disc brake (ADB) caliper remanufacturing.
Soika said Cummins-Meritor research indicates that while take rates for ADB systems continue to rise in the OEM channel, aftermarket demand for drum brake components remains strong. By investing in both segments, Soika said Cummins-Meritor can continue meeting all existing drum brake component demand while also being able to support ADB demand as it ages out of warranty and into the aftermarket.
“We want to continue to be the No. 1 supplier of brake components for the North American aftermarket,” she said.
Cummins-Meritor also continues bolstering its Euclid brand. Soika said the company added 500 part numbers to Euclid in 2023 and will supplement those new and expanded lines with marketing campaigns in 2024.
Pete Stow, senior manager, Global eCommerce, provided an update on MeritorPartsXpress, which continues to be strengthened with more product images and specifications, cross reference data and a price and availability widget. Stow mentioned the latter specifically was rolled out in sections of the site last year but will be found site wide in 2024. Credit card processing and expanded language translations also will be integrated to the website this year.
Doug Dole, general manager, Global Product Strategies, completed the presentation by showcasing how Cummins and Meritor engineering operations are being combined to develop the most efficient and technologically superior components in the industry. Dole said Cummins-Meritor has made great strides across its engineering, development and production operations since the acquisition.
Dole and Rabadi also noted the procedures implemented at the beginning of the integration have been essential for keeping the process moving smoothly despite the supply chain and other exterior market pressures the company has experienced over the last 16-plus months.
“We can’t separate the teams doing the integration work from the day-to-day work,” Rabadi said.