Moving the Heavy Vehicle IndustryThu, 09/01/2016 - 20:25
Q: How is PACCAR dealing with the economic challenges resulting from the volatile exchange rate?
A: We understand that the volatility of the exchange rate is the result of instability in global financial markets. We help our clients face these adverse conditions by designing custom-made solutions. Some of our clients have costs and income in US dollars so are not dramatically affected. But we also have clients whose expenses and revenues are in Mexican pesos or who are dealing with a combination of both currencies. Our job is to make sure we provide the necessary solutions to keep their businesses running.
Q: What strategies is PACCAR following to promote its trucks in the domestic market?
A: Kenworth vehicles have been in this market for over 56 years, which means our clients are aware of our brand value. PACCAR manufactures a wide array of units in Mexico but our T680 and T880 models with the PACCAR MX-13 engine are the most innovative trucks in the market. Their design and production quality set them up to succeed the Kenworth T660 and T800, which were leaders in the tractor market. Our T680 and T880 models not only have the most advanced technologies but they also offer top-quality aftersales services that distinguish Kenworth from its competitors. We wanted to maintain our traditional service approach with clients, such as the rapid supply of spare parts, in our more than 130 sites across the country. Another characteristic of our brand is the resale value of Kenworth trucks. Clients can be sure that even though they are purchasing a used unit it will provide excellence performance.
Q: How have PACCAR’s manufacturing techniques evolved and what are your R&D practices?
A: PACCAR Mexico constantly modernizes its industrial facilities. We invest heavily in manufacturing technology, incorporating high-tech production lines that boost the efficiency of our operations. A robotic cell, for instance, assembles the cabin of our Premium T680 and T880 models. We also have adopted flexible manufacturing that permits the production of vehicles that incorporate different engine technologies, such as the EPA-04, EPA-13, EURO-IV, EURO-V and gas engines.
Engineering and R&D are always involved in our manufacturing processes to make our operations more efficient. Our plastics and metal-mechanics plants in Mexicali, Baja California, where we manufacture spare parts and the basic structure of our vehicles, work according to the efficiency model that has always characterized the company.
Q: Will PACCAR Mexico be affected by new engine and fuel regulations?
A: We have the necessary capacity and technology for engines that comply with the coming regulations. But compliance is not enough. We need Ultra Low Sulfur UBA fuel to be available across the country for these advanced engines. New technologies need to be accompanied by economic incentives from local and federal authorities to help owners with their fleet renovation.
Natural gas engines in PACCAR trucks are not new. We have been producing these in our plant in Mexicali for many years. Units with this engine are already being commercialized, although we have only seen symbolic sales. Natural gas is a cleaner alternative to other traditional fuels, it is relatively economical and Mexico has a reserve that potentially makes the gas the fuel of the future. However, the country lacks the infrastructure to ensure the safety of supply stations. We want to explore using electric power to move heavy vehicles.
Q: What is PACCAR’s perspective regarding the behavior of the heavy vehicle industry?
A: Higher growth rates are preferable but it is undeniable that the Mexican economy, unlike other Latin American countries, enjoys stable growth. This is reflected in the heavy vehicle sector. In PACCAR Mexico and Kenworth Mexicana we are optimists and alongside the federal government and the state industrial development lender NAFIN, we provide incentives to support transport SMEs as they renew their units. PACCAR Mexico has a specific department for the development of suppliers. We are always looking for potential partners with the capacity to produce for our plants not only in Mexico but also abroad. That is a reflection of the company’s commitment to Mexico.