Reman compressors for OEM?

By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine

Sometimes it’s about what they don’t say. We recently received a press release from MACS member WABCO Holdings stating that “its Reman Solutions subsidiary has entered into an agreement with a globally operating automaker headquartered in the United States to remanufacture air conditioning compressors.”

On the face of it you might think reman compressors will be showing up on brand new vehicles; that’s still possible, and quality units may provide a good way for an OEM to save a few dollars per build.

But we wonder if this really means the un-named OEM will be putting the remans into the spare parts supply instead. If the rebuild quality is up to snuff ­– and WABCO swears it is, citing their ISO certifications for their plants in Rochester Hills, Mich., and Stanowice in Poland – then there’s another low(er)-dollar solution to a shop problem.

Who is the mystery buyer? Company management remained cagey on the topic. Although the quote above mentions an “automaker,” a WABCO spokesman referred to “a globally operating original equipment manufacturer headquartered in the U.S.” and “expanding our reman business in the commercial truck, automotive and agricultural vehicle markets.” That about covers the field for anything with wheels and an engine, so no clues there.

But since the announcement was made at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show, some inferences might be drawn. Chances are good this isn’t a deal about light vehicles. The greater point is about high-quality reman units entering to stream of commerce in substantial numbers.

Reman units, particularly compressors and alternators, have always been out there and have always presented varying quality. Some are great, some are doorstops, and smart buyers know the difference. Some shops love them; others won’t buy them. But if a large international company can present rebuilt products that function well and endure for a reasonable period of time, it’s another option you can use.

Side note: Lest you think WABCO is just another contrived name, the company started as Westinghouse Air Brake Co. in 1869. They’ve made their mark, particularly in the heavy vehicle, industry with a variety of brake, chassis, electronic and other products. Today they have many subsidiaries with facilities around the world.

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at or visit to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Be the Best of the Best will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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