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 Our History

Meritor is proud to celebrate more than 100 years of serving our customers with superior products that have stood the test of time.

Explore the milestones that have made us what we are today: a premier global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components to original equipment manufacturers and the aftermarket for the transportation and industrial sectors.

 
 
 
 

 Milestones

1909

Timken Detroit Axle was formed and located on Clark Street in Detroit, Michigan.

1913

By 1913, the area served daily by a truck was more than six times larger than the one served by horse-drawn wagons. Total work was nearly four times greater, with less than 15 percent of space required for garaging as opposed to stabling (Perry, 1913). Massive deployment of trucks began only with the U.S. involvement in WW1.

1919

Colonel Willard F. Rockwell (1888-1978) purchases Wisconsin Parts Company to produce an improved axle based on his own design. Rockwell said, "A big wheel is nothing without an axle."

1929

Timken Detroit Axle acquires Wisconsin Parts to form Timken-Detroit Axle and Wisconsin Axle; Willard Rockwell later becomes president.

1941

Facility is built in Cwmbran, South Wales as a Ministry of Aircraft production unit for the manufacture of electric gun turrets for RAF bomber aircraft.

1951

With manufacturing locations in Detroit and Jackson, Mich.; Oshkosh, Wis.; Utica, N.Y.; Ashtabula and Kenton, Ohio; and New Castle, Pa.; Timken Detroit Axle advertises its new R-330 series axle with top-mounted final drive as an "advanced engineering improvement found only in Timken-Detroit axles."

1953

Willard Rockwell merges Wisconsin Parts, Standard Steel and Spring, and Timken Detroit Axle to form Rockwell Spring and Axle Company.

1958

Rockwell Spring becomes Pittsburgh-based Rockwell Standard Corporation, with factories located in the upper Midwest United States and Southern Ontario, Canada.

1967

North American Aviation’s reputation was damaged by the Apollo space capsule disaster of January 1967, and was soon threatened with bankruptcy. Rockwell Standard made a successful bid of $922 million for the company in March 1967, thus establishing North American Rockwell.

1973

North American Rockwell acquires Collins Radio which designed and built radios that communicated the Apollo moon launch landings - thus establishing Rockwell Collins.

North American Rockwell merges with Rockwell Manufacturing Company to form Rockwell International – which wins a $2.6 billion contract to build the space shuttle orbiter designated OV-101.

1975

Automotive operations headquarters for Rockwell International is established in Troy, Michigan.

1989

Rockwell Automotive introduces family of nine- and 13-speed on-highway transmissions.

1993

Rockwell designs first permanently lubricated universal joints to reduce maintenance costs.

1996

Rockwell Automotive introduces revolutionary Engine Synchro Shift transmission designed to reduce driver shift effort and improve operational efficiencies.

1997

Rockwell International spins off its automotive business, creating Meritor Automotive.

1998

Meritor acquires Volvo Trucks’ heavy vehicle manufacturing operation in Lindesberg, Sweden, and acquires Euclid Industries, a leading replacement parts manufacturer for heavy-duty vehicles.

Meritor acquires Lucas Varity's Heavy Vehicle Braking Systems business.

2000

Meritor Automotive and Arvin Industries merge to form ArvinMeritor, Inc. (NYSE: ARM).

2004

Charles "Chip" McClure joins ArvinMeritor as chairman, CEO and president, and begins to lead the company through a multi-year transformation.

ArvinMeritor launches its “3R” Strategy: Rationalize, Refocus and Regenerate which includes divestitures, acquisitions, product innovations, international expansion and technical advancements.

2006

Performance Plus, a profit improvement program, is launched to improve cash flow, drive earnings power, and improve shareowner value.

2007

International Military and Government, LLC selects ArvinMeritor to supply front and rear drive axles for a new generation of armored personnel carriers for the U.S.military – the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. Later that year, ArvinMeritor is also selected as the drivetrain supplier for Armor Holdings.

The Meritor®17X axle is introduced in Europe, offering new design features and superior performance for linehaul applications.

2008

ArvinMeritor's off-highway original equipment and aftermarket components business is re-established in North America, South America, Europe and Africa.

A new 400,000 sq. ft. facility opens in Monterrey, Mexico to accommodate additional capacity for the company's axle and brake assembly operations with advanced manufacturing technology.

2009

ArvinMeritor launches its first hybrid drivetrain system specifically designed for linehaul trucks. The System combines mechanical and electrical propulsion systems resulting in a zero emission mode over a wide range of vehicle driving conditions.

2010

The new Meritor®14X tandem drive axle is unveiled, offering North American truck operators distinct efficiency and and long life improvements through its advanced evolutionary axle system.

2011

ArvinMeritor completes the divestiture of its light vehicle business in January 2011 and officially changes the name of the company back to Meritor - signifying a dedicated focus to the commercial vehicle and industrial businesses and marking an important evolution in the company's history.

2012

Meritor sells more than 100,000 units of its 14X™ tandem drive axle less than two years after its launching. As the lightest axle in its class, the 14X exceeds performance and reliability expectations and is the most widely adopted axle in the commercial vehicle industry.

2013

Meritor's Board of Directors names Ivor J. Evans chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president, to lead Meritor into the future.

Meritor launches M2016, a three-year plan for driving operational excellence, focusing on customer value, reducing product costs and investing in a high-performing team. M2016 includes specfic targets for EBITDA margin, debt reduction and revenue growth.