Wabash Expands EcoNex Technology Production with $20 Million Investment and 200 New Jobs in Minnesota
LAFAYETTE, Ind. – (Trailer Technician) — Wabash (NYSE: WNC), the visionary leader of connected solutions for the transportation, logistics and distribution industries, today announced it is expanding manufacturing capacity of EcoNex™ Technology to address customer demand and equipment challenges that refrigerated carriers have faced for years, including thermal efficiency, strength, weight and asset life.
As part of this expansion, Wabash is investing an additional $20 million at its 53-acre facility in Little Falls, Minn., and adding over 200 jobs by the end of 2023.
EcoNex Technology is Wabash’s proprietary, next-generation molded structural composite that utilizes environmentally conscious materials aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on non-renewable energy. A refrigerated trailer with EcoNex Technology is estimated to save up to 13.5 metric tons of CO2e per year compared to Wabash’s former ArcticLite® refrigerated trailer made with conventional materials.
“Although Wabash developed EcoNex with trailers in mind, its scalability across our portfolio is substantial,” said Brent Yeagy, president and chief executive officer. “At the end of 2021, we announced the launch of our refrigerated home delivery vehicle, and our initial backlog of $10 million for these new vehicles doubled in the following 90 days.”
Yeagy added, “What’s more, we think EcoNex has applications beyond our core markets because of its superior thermal capability, weight and strength. Our investment to expand EcoNex capacity, which we discussed at our May investor meeting, is intended to serve our trailer and truck body customers while we scale EcoNex in adjacent industries.”
EcoNex Technology boasts greater thermal capability while being lighter weight, and Wabash believes this technology substantially reduces corrosion and extends asset life. This is a sustainability advantage that is additive to our customers’ environmental objectives. Wabash has demonstrated the unique, value-add properties of EcoNex Technology with over 30 million miles of actual use.
“Whether we are transporting frozen vegetables in the heat of summer or fresh fruit in the cold of winter, EcoNex Technology assures the temperatures inside the trailers are consistent,” said Ken Johnson, chief executive officer at Leonard’s Express, Inc.
“I admire Wabash’s commitment to corporate citizenship and am proud to see the incredible impact this expansion will have on our local economy and community,” said Mayor Greg Zylka of Little Falls. “We are looking forward to a long-term relationship with Wabash to continue to expand opportunities and help our great community grow and prosper.”
Wabash: Changing How the World Reaches You
As the innovation leader of connected solutions for the transportation, logistics and distribution industries, Wabash (NYSE: WNC) is Changing How the World Reaches You®. Headquartered in Lafayette, Indiana, the company’s mission is to enable customers to succeed with breakthrough ideas and solutions that help them move everything from first to final mile. Wabash designs and manufactures a diverse range of products, including: dry freight and refrigerated trailers, platform trailers, tank trailers, dry and refrigerated truck bodies, structural composite panels and products, trailer aerodynamic solutions, and specialty food grade processing equipment.