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Push for More Stable Heavy Trucks
can Benefit Suppliers

Thursday, July 28, 2005
 
With truck makers facing pressure from consumers and regulatory bodies to improve vehicle stability, suppliers of Class 6-8 truck-chassis systems and components stand to benefit. That analysis comes from consultant Frost & Sullivan in its report: North American Class 6-8 Truck OE Chassis Systems and Components Market. The company offers insight into the transportation market at www.transportation.frost.com. As the study points out, revenue in this market totaled $2.964 billion in 2004 but is expected to drop to $2.907 billion by 2011. To insulate themselves from cyclical downturns, systems suppliers must add value to product offerings and demand greater price premiums for the introduction of value-added products that enhance product appeal, according to the report authors. The push for greater vehicle stability opens the door to value-added possibilities, and as demand for incorporating products such as stability-enhancement modules continues to rise, that likely will support higher prices for chassis systems and components and boost market revenues. Another trend is increasing demand from truck makers for modular systems and subassemblies, providing another revenue possibility for suppliers.

China Currency Announcement
a "Small Step," says Service Center President

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
 
Regarding China’s announcement that it will float its currency within a narrow range as a response to international monetary markets, M. Robert Weidner III, president and CEO of the Metals Service Center Institute, calls it “a first, very small step toward the flexible market-based exchange-rate system that we and many others have advocated. (But it) does not go nearly far enough to respond to our concerns about the impact of Chinese currency manipulation on the North American manufacturing economy.” In making his argument, Weidner cites studies showing that the Chinese yuan has been undervalued by as much as 40 percent. He criticizes as inadequate the Chinese decision to value the yuan at 8.11 to the U.S. dollar from a previous value of 8.28. “Furthermore, a 0.3-percent defined-band trading range does not constitute a significant movement toward a flexible foreign-exchange-market valuation,” he says, calling that merely a decision by the People’s Bank of China to offer a China-managed exchange system in an attempt to reduce political pressure on that country. As a solution, Weidner advocates passage of H.R. 1498, the China Currency Act of 2005, bi-partisan legislation that defines currency manipulation and makes it actionable under U.S. trade law.

High Production Technology Earns ISO Certification

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
 
High Production Technology (HPT), Napoleon, OH, a manufacturer of destackers and pressroom-automation equipment, has been granted ISO 9001:2000 certification. HPT, a wholly owned subsidiary of Automatic Feed Co., supplies automotive OEMs and Tier One suppliers. Learn more at www.hiprotech.com.

 

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