October's Notes from the President

Meeting the Challenges in 2009
by Mark Hellwig

As the Big 3 and other car and truck manufacturers scramble for new vehicle sales we at Hellwig Products are watching with anticipation for the next generations of trucks, sport utility vehicles and muscle cars to come from their combined genius. The challenges they face are great but they always seem to come through with some home runs when it counts. We will be looking for ground-breaking designs in light trucks, anticipating continued and expanded use of hybrid technologies in SUV’s and the introduction of that technology into light trucks as well. The “Tow and Haul” market will re-invent itself but will always need aftermarket products like sway bars and helper springs.

Although new car sales are important to us, we stand ready to provide innovative and functional suspension products for previous generations of trucks, sport utility vehicles and muscle cars as well. Some Hellwig suspension product applications range back to the early 1960’s.

As we all are painfully aware, the current economic climate is less than ideal for promoting aftermarket products. The high costs of energy, raw materials, transportation and regulation have plagued us all. Not to mention the discretionary income our potential customers might have is being funneled into their gas tanks. However, with that being said Hellwig is looking to the future. We have implemented several measures to keep the cost of our units in check while at the same time striving to improve them.

While continuing to design user friendly and functional suspension products Hellwig is investing in equipment to insure that all products purchased arrive in the best possible condition by incorporating new methods of packaging and product protection.

With environmental concerns becoming more and more a part of manufacturing, Hellwig is implementing several energy conservation measures to reduce electricity and natural gas consumption and therefore CO2 gases. Along those same lines Hellwig’s new powder coating facility offers state of the art finishes including “Hammertone” finishes providing the ultimate in surface protection along with a unique surface profile to retain lubrication in critical areas and at the same time, eliminating the release of V.O.C’s (volatile organic compounds) into the air.

Our business has experienced a historic trend in raw material costs. With no real relief in sight Hellwig Products has purchased a state of the art CNC Tube Bender capable of bending tubular material into sway bars. This capability will reduce the total amount of weight in each kit therefore reducing cost and saving our valuable resource of steel. This machine will also bend solid bar stock for our current and conventional sway bars. Large gains in accuracy and productivity are expected in this area along with further reductions in natural gas use.

Overall the future is looking good and we are fighting hard to design, produce and market great suspension products. With an outstanding team of sales staff, administrators and manufacturing personnel all pulling together we are ready to tackle the challenges of 2009.

Posted on Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 in Uncategorized.
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