New Scania, Trucking Optimism, a Major Fine and Electric Axles

The news from Diesel this week shows evidence of a new Scania, trucking optimism, a major fine and electric axles, with stories from around the world.

Images of the next generation Scania driving on Australian roads have started to appear on social media, as the Swedish truck maker run the new models in a, far from secret, evaluation program. 

Truck Sales Up

The latest monthly truck sales figures released by the Truck Industry Council (TIC) this week demonstrate optimism from truck buyers and show a strong truck market, when compared to the figures from last September. National sales figures are showing a rise in sales over the year when compared to 2016. Overall sales sit at 26,294 so far this year, they were just 23,951 at the same point last year.

While just about every truck brand is showing an increase in sales, some have made major gains over 2016. The two German brands MAN and Mercedes Benz, now selling new models and with MAN supplying the Defence Forces, have increased sales with numbers up 198 per cent and 48 per cent respectively.

Major Fine for Scania

Scania has been hit with an 880 million ($1,316 million) after being found to be part of a trucks cartel by the European Commission. The charges reckon the Swedish truck maker colluded for 14 years with five other European truck manufacturers on the pricing of trucks. There were also irregularities in passing on the costs of new technologies to meet exhaust emission regulations.

This follows the fining of MAN, DAF, Daimler, Iveco and Volvo/Renault last year after they also admitted to have acted in a cartel-like fashion. Scania had elected not to settle early and underwent a full investigation.

“The decision marks the end of our investigation into a very long lasting cartel, 14 years,” Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, is quoted as saying in reports from Europe. “This cartel affected very substantial numbers of road hauliers in Europe, since Scania and the other truck manufacturers in the cartel produce more than 9 out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks sold in Europe. These trucks account for around three quarters of inland transport of goods in Europe and play a vital role in the European economy. Instead of colluding on pricing, the truck manufacturers should have been competing against each other, also on environmental improvements.”

Electric Axles

Meritor has announced it is developing a platform of electric drive axles and suspensions as well as supporting systems with the intention to position the company as a leader in electric solutions for the commercial vehicle market.

“Essentially, we’re focusing on integrating an electric motor into the differential carrier,” said Jay Craig, CEO and president for Meritor. “As we look to future emissions regulations and our customers’ desire for more efficiency, we’re developing new and innovative solutions to expand our product portfolio.”

Meritor designed the e-carrier as a drop-in replacement of a conventional mechanical carrier that does not disrupt axle or suspension packaging. Because the electric motor is integrated into the axle, space is freed up for batteries and other electrical components, offering easier packaging and installation and a safer, more protected location inside the frame rails to mount the batteries.