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Paccar: No Merger Talks with VW


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Heavy Duty Trucking / July 31, 2014

In early July, a top Daimler Trucks official told reporters that fellow German company Volkswagen would make a bid to buy American truck maker Paccar. VW denied the rumor at the time, and now Paccar has responded as well.

On July 3, Reuters reported that Wolfgang Bernhard, chief of Daimler Trucks, told analysts at Bernstein Research that "serious, multiple sources" told him VW will make a bid for Paccar next year.

However, a few hours later, Reuters reported that Volkswagen strenuously denied those rumors, calling them "complete rubbish."

Paccar did not respond to HDT request for comment.

This week, Paccar CEO Ron Armstrong dismissed rumors that Paccar, which makes Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks in the U.S. and owns the DAF brand abroad, is engaged in merger talks with Volkswagen AG.

"There have been no discussions with Volkswagen," said Armstrong. "We've got a great team. The company continues to focus on running the business day in and day out."

Analysts say DAF's truck brand in Europe would give VW too large of a market share for EU antitrust regulators to sign off on such a merger.

Which brings speculation of VW's future truck expansion goals into North America back around to Navistar, which has more than once been rumored to be a purchase target of the German automaker.

Alan Bunting, a writer for Automotive World, wrote last week that "For the first time ... Troy Clarke, chief executive of truck and bus manufacturer Navistar, has indicated that the corporation 'could be purchased by another company,' adding that there are 'half a dozen folks' on the world stage who might be interested in purchasing a reinvigorated Navistar."

Clarke made the remarks while speaking to a group of truck industry editors in Washington DC on July 9.

"In reality, the list must be even shorter than six," Bunting writes. "Top of that list must be Volkswagen, currently unrepresented in Navistar's primary North American market, but with declared aspirations for its collective Scania, MAN and VW brands to rival Daimler in global heavy-duty market share."

For that to happen, VW would have to take on Daimler Trucks North America, Bunting pointed out

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Paccar-VW: The rumor that wasn’t

Fleet Owner / July 30, 2014

Germany’s Volkswagen AG denied weeks ago that it was planning a rumored run at Paccar, but only yesterday did the parent of Kenworth and Peterbilt officially squash talk of such a merger.

Speculation arose early in July from a research note by industry analysts that attributed Wolfgang Bernhard—who heads the Trucks and Buses Div. of Germany’s Daimler AG— as stating he’d been informed by “serious, multiple sources" that its rival VW would attempt to take over Paccar next year.

A spokesperson for VW had forcefully denied the rumor at the time, calling it "complete rubbish."

Yesterday, Paccar CEO Ronald E. Armstrong told reporters on a conference call that "There have been no discussions with Volkswagen… The company continues to focus on running the business day in and day out."

Mr. Armstrong’s unabashed dismissal of any talks with VW transmits Paccar’s position in no uncertain terms.

Yet what would likely have killed off this rumored courtship before it was ever launched is the perceived unsuitability of VW as the suitor.

If these OEMs were to merge, it would bring under one corporate roof Paccar’s European-based DAF truck operation and VW’s MAN and Scania truck units.

Such a merger, analysts contend, would never fly with EU antitrust regulators as the combined OEM would immediately attain too large a share of the European commercial-truck market.

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We all know what American truck builder is next to fall into European hands, it's only a matter of time. Congratulations PACCAR you'll soon be the only kid on the block. Tragic and sad.

There was a time when America's truckmakers led the world in technology and innovation. The Europeans were clearly behind us in every aspect of truck design.

America's most cutting edge truckmaker, Mack Trucks Inc., for decades put the world on notice that U.S. heavy truck design was second to none.

Sadly, look at where we stand today.

For a country in which trucking figures so prominently in our development, it is a tragedy that all the trucks on the roads of America today, with the exception of Navistar and Paccar, are produced by foreign truckmakers.

It is a national disgrace that America no longer has the ability to compete and lead in our own domestic truck industry.

We are the greatest nation in the world, and yet, we have allowed our trucking industry to be sold out to and controlled by the Europeans.

Speaking of suppliers, just as Detroit Diesel was sold to Germany's Daimler, TRW is in the process of being sold to Germany's ZF.

If America's industrial might and abilty for cutting edge innovation is now resigned to the history books, we should all take lessons in humility as we seek out a place in the backseat of today's global business arena.

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