BELLEVUE, WA-Truck manufacturer PACCAR Inc. is boosting its information technology investments worldwide as part of a comprehensive effort to increase both vehicle and production efficiency, and to reduce the environmental impact of the company's activities.

"The pace of technological innovation at PACCAR continues to accelerate, enhancing PACCAR's competitive advantage in products and services," says CEO, Mark Pigott. "PACCAR has invested $1.6 billion in the last decade to strengthen its industry-leading global technology platforms and establish itself as a leading environmental company."

According to Pigott, the ongoing investment in information technology also allows PACCAR and its subsidiaries, which include Kenworth and Peterbilt truck companies, to improve product quality, reduce time-to-market and strengthen aftermarket customer support.

In recent years, PACCAR has installed more than 1,600 computers in its assembly facilities to expedite critical line-side information to employees. Tablet PCs and WiFi networks are standard in PACCAR facilities worldwide. The company has also invested approximately $100 million in automation and robots. Examples include an automated chassis paint shop at the company's plant in Leyland, England, and robotic cells for aluminum fuel tank welding at the Peterbilt Denton facility in Texas.

"Increased capital investments and the completion of 5,600 Six Sigma projects have led to a dramatic improvement," says PACCAR vice president George West. "PACCAR has increased manufacturing capacity by 7 percent annually and improved inventory turns by 50 percent in the last 5 years due."

PACCAR is also developing a number of hybrid vehicles, which are scheduled to go into operation in select locations in 2008. PACCAR's engine test facilities have also set a goal of cutting fuel consumption by nearly a third. In 2007, the company will introduce a system that allows drivers to heat or cool their cabs without idling the truck's engine. Finally, the company is working to reduce the amount of packaging used in its supply chains and for shipping product.