Remy president addresses five challenges for heavy-duty market

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Remy Inc. President Jay Pittas discussed what he sees as the five key challenges to today’s heavy-duty market in his address at the Heavy Duty Representatives Association annual meeting.

The five challenges that Pittas outlined were:

  • Paying for changing technology – Financing heavy-duty technology changes and recovering technology costs on a timely basis has been highlighted recently by the credit crunch. “Vehicle assemblers more often look to the supplier community to help solve new design problems,” said Pittas. “The challenge for the supplier is to partner with customers and still produce an ROI that is acceptable to stakeholders.”
  • Electrification of vehicles – In response to demands for higher fuel economy, vehicle manufacturers are increasing the electrification of vehicles. “To get these high-output alternators into high-volume production while meeting manufacturers’ expectations for cost and durability is the challenge,” said Pittas. “We think traditional alternator designs can fill this demand up to about 300 amps. By the time we get to higher power demands, more than likely we will look to hybrid and other technology solutions to fill this demand.”
  • Expanding technician shortage – As technology continues to evolve, the need for more qualified technicians to work on the new products and diagnose fresh technologies at all steps in the supply chain is critical, said Pittas.
  • Qualified after-sales support – Pittas sees developing after-sales support as just as important as the technician shortage. “Manufacturers must provide its aftermarket customers with tools to help solve complicated problems with the right product to its customers,” said Pittas.
  • Globalization – “Good old days” were simpler when U.S. truck manufacturers were supplied with U.S. components, said Pittas. Now the global economy demands global engineering and technology response, especially in fast-moving areas of product development.