SCHWEINFURT, Germany – A new wheel hub that reduces friction and extends the life of the bearings inside will show up in a North American SUV next year. Engineers at Schaeffler Group replaced two banks of tapered roller bearings with four banks of cheaper ball bearings. Low-profile Schaeffler, which does about $5 billion a year in automotive sales under three OEM brands, is with Sweden’s SKF, Japan’s NTN and Ohio’s Timken Co., a leader in automotive bearings. It is home to 4,000 ...

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