The Week in Review (Feb. 23-27, 2009) - aftermarketNews

The Week in Review (Feb. 23-27, 2009)

The Week in Review offers a snapshot of the most highly read stories of the week as seen on aftermarketNews. To access the complete stories, simply click on the highlighted links. If you missed reading one of our daily news emails, just click on the link that says "News Archives" at the bottom of the page to begin catching up on the latest industry news.

Financial reports can draw a powerful picture of a company’s overall health, and from the look of things, Federal-Mogul is staying in tip top shape thanks to its careful global strategy, post-bankruptcy. Earlier this week, Federal-Mogul released its 2008 financial report, which showed full year 2008 sales of $6.9 billion, in line with 2007, despite a drop in sales of $430 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The fourth quarter decline was due to the unprecedented decline in the automotive market over the past several months. The company attributed its success in 2008 to its diverse customer and geographic base. During fiscal year 2008, more than 60 percent of sales came from outside the United States, with no single customer accounting for more than 6 percent of total sales.

In other news from the manufacturing sector, ZF Services North America announced an expansion of its marketing and product management team, a good sign in these challenging economic times. Following the merger of ZF Sales & Service NA LLC and ZF Trading NA just over a year ago, the newly merged business began the process of combining product lines and restructuring the organization. During the process of combining product lines into automotive, heavy commercial vehicle and off-highway businesses, it became clear that many new opportunities existed via cross-selling and new business development, said the company. As a result, the marketing and product management department has grown from a staff of nine to a team of 20 today.

Also featured in our round-up of top news stories from the week comes an in-depth look at the future of mobile A/C refrigerants from Underhood Service Editor Ed Sunkin. In his article, “The Future of Cool,” Sunkin writes about the competition that’s heating up between the U.S. and Europe as to which type of cabin cooling system will be used in new vehicles coming off the lines in 2011, replacing the current HFC-134a-based systems. The article debates the merits of several different options being considered today as a replacement for R-134a: R-744, HFC-152a, or (HFO)-1234yf.

In just a few months, industry execs will gather in Chicago on May 6&7 for the annual Global Automotive Symposium (GAAS), and earlier this week GAAS Chairman Dave Caracci sat down with aftermarketNews to talk about what’s new at GAAS this year and why it’s more important than ever to attend. “There are many leaders on the front lines of the aftermarket, trying to make decisions that not only affect them and the others working beside them today, but that may affect their survival for years to come. Who do they listen to? Where do they go for leading edge concepts or to identify short term shifts from long term trends? That is what GAAS is all about." Caracci said. To read the complete interview, click here.
The final news item in our top news wrap-up comes from Federal-Mogul’s Wagner Brake brand, which just announced the launch of a new consumer promotion. From March 1 through April 30, consumers can take advantage of Wagner Brake’s “The Best for Less!” promotion, which offers up to $50 in cash back when Wagner ThermoQuiet or Wagner EDGE brake pads/shoes are professionally installed on their vehicles. Wagner made it simple to participate; rebates can be processed online with a qualifying purchase.

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