We spoke with Joe Venturella, TTI vice president, transportation business unit, and asked how buyers in the transportation sector can best prepare for 2015. Here are five things to know about the transportation market in the new year.
CS: Do you have a general outlook for 2015?
JV: We see continued growth in the transportation market segment for 2015. Our automotive business, which is primarily via automated replenishment programs, has been very robust in 2014. We see this continuing for the coming year.
CS: Any particular areas or industries that look like they will be growth areas?
JV: The commercial vehicle market, which for us is really everything other than passenger cars and light trucks, looks very good in 2015. We have had many product design wins in this segment in the past few years that will go into production in the coming year. We’ve created customized supply chain solutions that will ensure continuing productivity for the life of those programs. We’ve also seen an uptick in the rail and electric vehicle markets.
CS: Are there specific technologies for which you see growth?
JV: Enhancements to information and entertainment systems are driving the growth of high-speed connectors like USB 3.0 in vehicles. This is not limited to passenger cars. These connectors are being designed into almost every vehicle including combines and tractors. We are even working on a stacked USB connector for a golf cart company: Golfers want to be able to charge their electronic gear as they work their way around the course. A couple of our key suppliers are bringing new products to the market for this application.
CS: Any tips for engineers as they get ready for 2015?
JV: Partner with a distributor who understands the transportation market. TTI, for example, is a specialty distributor and we represent the industry-leading, premier suppliers for this market segment around the globe. You should be able to reach out to your chosen distributor for help with your design, and ideally it will have a team of transportation field application engineers to provide guidance and insight when you are looking for unique solutions and resources. We have a very good website, for example, with an embedded transportation microsite to help designers with data sheets, application notes, and white papers.
CS: What should buyers understand moving into 2015?
JV: We are starting to see some changes in market forecasts and that may lead to increased lead times. If you are a buyer in the transportation industry, there has never been a more important time to solidify your distributor relationship. In addition to protecting you against volatility in the supply chain that can cause shortages and unavailability, a good supply chain partner will enable you to take advantage of spikes in demand for your products.
Joe Venturella is a 31-year veteran of the electronics industry, and has spent the last two decades at TTI. Since 2007, he has been responsible for TTI’s dedicated transportation business unit.