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May 4, 2016 12:00 PM, EDT

Vertical Integration Among OEMs Could Limit Emissions Technologies, Experts Say

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Industry executives suggested vertical integration among truck makers will extend into emissions- and fuel-saving technologies in the future and ultimately limit the number of innovations.

The speakers made their comments here at the Advanced Clean Transportation Exposition during a session the North American Council for Freight Efficiency sponsored.

Bill Van Amburg, senior vice president at Calstart, said the vertical integration within the Class 8 manufacturers illustrated the need for a systems approach in meeting upcoming greenhouse gas regulations.

But Van Amburg said, “We might see less choice in combinations of systems that can actually achieve [the mandates]. And maybe there will be fewer options to vary from that.”

Kyle Treadway, president of Kenworth Sales Co. in Salt Lake City, which has 20 dealerships in western states, said truck makers are keenly aware of where they are profitable and where they are not.

“So if they can only produce 20 of a certain [emissions-reducing] configuration versus 200, you know where their investment is going to go. They are not going to innovate,” he said.

For more coverage of the Advanced Clean Transportation Exposition, see the May 9 print edition of Transport Topics.