This paper describes how the needs of the truck end-user have changed under the pressures of deregulation and competition, and how the truck supply community has responded. It observes that traditional management and hardware responses are yielding diminishing improvements. Significant further improvement is postulated based on application of electronic technology to functional control of a “truck system”. This is defined as a technological discontinuity where a new perspective, “thinking systems” will be needed. The post-1995 truck system is described; and what “thinking systems” entails and “how to create a system” are discussed.
It is further postulated that this change in technology will have major impacts on the structure of the truck manufacturing industry, and the capabilities required of its management and technical communities.