International strategies, new products support Hendrickson growth

Updated Aug 26, 2010

When a company captures the lion’s share of its domestic market, further growth often requires new markets and new products. Hendrickson announced it is pursuing both strategies strongly during a press conference Wednesday, Aug. 25, held in conjunction with the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.

Pointing to the explosive growth in truck production in India and Asia, Baine Adams, Hendrickson’s vice president of global sales and marketing, outlined the company’s strategies to further penetrate these international markets, including the recently announced joint venture with Sinotruk, China’s largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer.

Adams said Class 8 truck production in Asia is expected to exceed five million units by 2015 – nearly one million of which will be built in China – and nearly 250,000 heavy-duty units will be manufactured in India. Hendrickson also has a joint-venture agreement with Indian vehicle manufacturer Tata AutoComp Systems Limited (TACO).

To support the company’s partnership with Sinotruk to design and manufacture suspension systems for its vehicles, Hendrickson established a manufacturing facility in Jinan, Shandong Province, China, which began operations earlier this year and is expected to reach full production in the fourth quarter.

Noting that each new international venture requires unique products, Adams says the “key to our success has been our global testing capabilities,” helping ensure that product quality and performance meets the specific needs of each market.

But the company’s focus is not all abroad. Hendrickson introduced its new Aero Guard bumper that it says is lightweight, aerodynamic and durable. Initially available next month for International’s ProStar tractors, the two-piece resin bumper – made from recyclable materials – has been in development for four years and establishes technology that the company says will lead to new future offerings of bumpers, visors and fairings.

The Aero Guard design eliminates structural backers and braces, reducing weight and complexity. The company said it remains ductile to -40 degrees Fahrenheit for improved cold impact durability and can withstand temperatures as high as 225 degrees F, such as those encountered in OEM paint-drying ovens.

The simpler design means easier and faster installation both in production and aftermarket, and it also incorporates higher all-around ground clearance to help prevent off-road damage. The Aero Guard will be available for other makes and models in the future.