Navistar Details Medium-Duty Deal with GM

September 30, 2015, by David Cullen

The jointly engineered Class 4/5 trucks will be built in Navistar's Springfield, OH, assembly plant, starting in 2018. Photo: Dept. of Labor
The jointly engineered Class 4/5 trucks will be built in Navistar's Springfield, OH, assembly plant, starting in 2018. Photo: Dept. of Labor

The Class 4/5 trucks that will be jointly developed by Navistar and General Motors for production in 2018 will provide opportunities for both OEMs “to gain share in markets that we have not participated in for a number of years,” Bill Kozek, president, Truck and Parts, Navistar, said during a Sept. 30 conference call held by Navistar a few hours after the agreement was announced.

Kozek said the new trucks will be jointly engineered to leverage Navistar’s manufacturing expertise and GM’s expertise in commercial components and engines.

He remarked that, with production slated to begin in 2018, it was too early to discuss specifics but allowed that “diesel engines will be offered.”

As for how the trucks will be badged, he explained that “they will be branded as Chevrolets, under GM’s plan, and for us as Internationals. From our standpoint, the trucks will push more toward the Class 5 category— they could be box trucks or used or tree service [or other work-truck uses]....primarily in the construction segment. On the Chevy side, they will move toward Class 4; more of a pickup-type vehicle.”

He said the new model will replace the current TerraStar, a Class 4/5 truck, in the International lineup in 2018.

“We’re reluctant to describe these trucks as [combining] a GM-developed powertrain with a Navistar-developed chassis,” Kozek said. “Really, this will be a jointly developed product.”

The cab for the new conventionals, to be co-developed by Navistar and GM, will have "a different look to it” than those currently offered, said Kozek, who noted that the two truck makers “may look at [developing] cabovers down the road.”

He also advised that while the two OEMs have “not had any discussions to date” on jointly developing trucks for other weight classes, that “certainly could happen” at some point.

The new trucks will be manufactured at Navistar’s facility in Springfield, Ohio. Kozek said the OEM plans to add 300 jobs and invest more than $12 million in facility and equipment at the plant to produce the new vehicles.

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