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The Navistar Condor


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At Waste Expo 2009, Navistar and American LaFrance jointly displayed a Navistar-badged Condor featuring an International powertrain.

With the closing of American LaFrance in January this year, Navistar, though cash strapped, could have purchased all the Condor production tooling for a modest amount of money at the August auction, which would instantly make Navistar a player in the refuse industry thru its acquisition of the Condor's market share (small, but a beginning point to work with).

Daimler subsidiary Freightliner acquired American LaFrance in 1995. In 2001, the Condor refuse truck was introduced under both the Freightliner and Sterling brands, and sold thru 2008.


Condor production continued after New York-based private equity firm Patriarch Partners LLC purchased American LaFrance from Daimler-Chrysler in December 2005. Condor production took place in South Carolina.

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (June 9, 2009) – Navistar today showcased an addition to its line-up of International trucks, a vehicle based on an existing American LaFrance low cab-over engine (LCOE) platform.

While Navistar, Inc. and American LaFrance, LLC continue to work toward a definitive agreement on a joint venture to develop, manufacture and support LCOE vocational trucks, the two companies were eager to show the waste industry what a potential end-product could look like.

The two companies plan to work collaboratively to make enhancements to the existing LCOE chassis. While these modifications may appear seamless to customers today, over time, the joint venture will help produce more noticeable changes, including the integration of MaxxForce engines and Advanced EGR technology to meet EPA 2010 emissions requirements.

The joint venture will build upon the engineering platform of American LaFrance and further enhance the product offering with proprietary Navistar components. Navistar’s MaxxForce Advanced EGR engines will be incorporated within the product offering, providing a clear advantage for the new line of trucks heading into the 2010 EPA emission requirements. The International LCOE truck will be the only LCOE chassis on the market without a urea-based SCR (selective catalytic reduction) system.

“We believe the strengths of our vocational line are exponentially enhanced when combined with the proprietary components, engines and distribution of Navistar,” said Patriarch Partners Chief Executive Lynn Tilton. “This will be an exciting journey to build a broad global product offering and we are honored to combine the talents and names of Navistar and American LaFrance.”

The initial product focus will target the waste and construction segments with future products planned for additional vocational markets. Through the venture, the American LaFrance Summerville, SC, manufacturing facility will become the manufacturing hub for the new products.

“Working with American LaFrance is another example of Navistar’s strategy of growth through leveraging our own assets and those that others have built,” said Jack Allen, president of Navistar’s North American Truck Group. “This relationship provides us with a new opportunity to further grow our business and meet the needs of customers through a new line of vocational vehicles.”

The companies have commissioned teams to focus on truck and engine opportunities. The initiatives contemplated by the Term Sheet are subject to completion of due diligence, execution of definitive agreements and regulatory approvals.


Navistar-American LaFrance Condor (Waste Expo 2009)...JPG

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At the 2012 Waste Expo and Mid-America Truck Show, Navistar displayed the low cab forward “Loadstar” (never mind that the original Loadstar was a conventional).

By the end of 2012, the Loadstar was removed from Navistar’s website.

In March 2012, Navistar announced it would build its International LoadStar truck in Barton, Alabama and create 2,200 jobs.

In June 2012, Navistar said the truck’s refuse body also would be built at the plant (Navistar was in talks to acquire EZ-Pack Manufacturing, and did so in March 2013).

The Barton plant was built after the July 2007 announcement that the National Alabama railcar plant would operate there and bring at least 1,600 jobs. A weak economy and other problems thwarted those plans, causing The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA), which invested more than $600 million in the project, to take over ownership of the plant.

Navistar took over the nearly mile-long plant in Barton Riverfront Industrial Park on January 1, 2012 and signed a ten year lease.

At the end of 2012, there was some activity at the plant with 150 full-time workers engaged in fabrication operations. At that time, Navistar’s director of communications Karen Denning refused to say when refuse truck production would get under way.

The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) is providing financing for Navistar’s operation at Barton.

The Shoals Industrial Development Committee unanimously agreed in 2012 to transfer the incentives committed to National Alabama to Navistar. The action allowed Navistar to qualify for up to $23 million in incentives if the company meets specified employment thresholds. The company had about three years remaining to meet those thresholds.

Navistar had to reach and maintain 900 workers in order to qualify for any incentive money, which would be $7.67 million at that level, according to the Shoals Economic Development Authority.

Navistar has until December 31, 2015, to reach 1,800 workers to qualify for the full incentive package.

Navistar never confirmed the number of workers it would hire for the plant, but Gov. Robert Bentley said it would have 1,800 workers. Officials said the plant could produce as many as 2,200 jobs when spin-off jobs are taken into account.

State officials who helped put together an incentive package for Navistar said as many as 2,200 workers could be affiliated with the plant within four years.




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LAS VEGAS – May 1, 2012 — Today at the Waste Expo trade show in Las Vegas, Navistar, Inc. unveiled the International LoadStar, a light-weight low cab forward truck specifically designed for the waste/refuse industry. The new LoadStar is a refuse truck reimagined.

Designed from the ground up with input from drivers and fleet managers, the LoadStar was also built to serve customer needs specific to the waste market, but with versatility to meet needs in concrete pumping, airplane refueling and other key vocational markets. LoadStar is equipped with numerous customer-friendly features:

• Industry’s first stainless steel cab to minimize corrosion and increase durability
• Vocationally designed variable depth frame rails for maximum durability
• Ergonomically designed cab interior, including excellent control placement
• Navistar’s Diamond Logic® multiplexed electrical system with capabilities that provide seamless body integration for increased safety and ease of operation
• Integrated powertrain powered by MaxxForce®, featuring CleanBurn™ Emissions Technology or optional natural gas version in early 2013

“We talked to drivers to better understand their needs, what is missing from the trucks they drive, and re-imagined a better solution,” said Jack Allen, president of Navistar’s North American truck group.

“To fit driver needs, we optimized the space in the cab, increased seat and steering wheel movement, and adjusted joystick placement to deliver an outstanding ergonomic and customizable work environment. The exterior boasts the signature appearance and design of the International Truck brand.”

LoadStar’s high performance and durable design features the industry’s first stainless steel cab-over design, creating a high-strength, long-lasting and corrosion-resistant cab. The truck also has variable depth frame rails designed for vocational usage offering maximum durability for users.

Featuring a tilt/telescoping steering column and 10-inch fore/aft and 6.5-inch up/down seat travel, LoadStar’s settings provide for unprecedented belly room. A wide 90-degree door opening and easy 18-inch first step height were also included to provide drivers with maximum comfort. With outstanding driver visibility and superior wall-to-wall turning radius, the LoadStar delivers excellent maneuverability.

In conjunction with the launch of the LoadStar, Navistar recently acquired certain assets and intellectual property from E-Z Pack Manufacturing, LLC, a leading manufacturer of truck bodies for the waste and refuse industry. Through the E-Z Pack acquisition, Navistar will offer the LoadStar as a fully integrated cab/chassis/body.

“This is another example of how Navistar is growing our business by leveraging what we have and what others have built,” Allen added. “Building integrated refuse bodies gives us another opportunity to provide an integrated, one-stop shop for waste haulers and helps expand Navistar’s industry-leading portfolio of purpose-built products.”

The International WorkStar and International LoadStar waste/refuse trucks will still be offered to mount with all other body companies in the industry based on customer preference. In addition, E-Z Pack will continue to mount bodies on chassis manufactured by other OEMs.

LoadStar will also feature Navistar’s Diamond Logic® system, which helps decrease downtime and improves productivity by enabling control of and communication between vehicle components and body equipment. This unique system increases safety and optimizes maintenance.

Combined with MaxxForce CleanBurn™ Emissions Technology, the industry’s only no-hassle emissions solution, drivers get a versatile, urea-free work truck without the burden or unnecessary complexity of competitive SCR systems. The truck will be available with diesel powered 10-, 11- or 13-liter MaxxForce engines, and a Cummins Westport ISL-G compressed natural gas engine available in Spring 2013, for increased versatility.

“The new LoadStar delivers a reimagined solution for the refuse industry,” said Allen. “With industry-leading innovation customer-focused features, LoadStar addresses the realities of today and stands ready for the needs of tomorrow.”

LoadStar will be available for orders in October 2012 through International dealers in the United States and Canada.


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Fleet Owner / September 28, 2012

Back in May of this year, Navistar announced it had reached agreement to purchase EZ-Pack.

EZ-Pack, for those that don’t know, is a refuse body manufacturer. They do nothing more, nothing less. But, to date, the company has been able to garner only about 7% of the refuse body market that is dominated by McNeilus and Heil.

Many wondered why Navistar wanted to get itself into the refuse-body building business. Some of those answers came this week at the Navistar Vocational Boot Camp in Tooele, Utah, and they make a strong case for why this could be a good fit for customers of both companies.

“EZ-Pack may be one of the smallest [refuse] body makers in the industry, but the capabilities are there, and what we can do with it are there,” Jim Hebe, executive vice president-North American sales for Navistar said.

Jim Rogers, vice president of sales and marketing and one of the owners of EZ-Pack, sees a perfect fit.

“The best asset Navistar has is the dealer network…yet it appears nowhere on their balance sheet,” he said. “The dealers at Navistar are very good at selling to municipalities. Now we hope when they call on municipalities, they’ll sell them a garbage truck.”

In fact, refuse was a hole in Navistar’s vocational lineup for many years. It took steps to rectify that when it introduced the Loadstar at Mid-America this past spring. Set to launch in July of next year, LoadStar will be available with a Cummins ISL G natural gas engine to start.

According to Rogers, that is a perfect engine for the refuse market. In fact, Rogers said, 1 in 4 garbage trucks sold in North America this year will be sold with alternative power. That number was just 10% three years ago and could be as high as 50% within two years he said.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the arrangement, Rogers pointed out, is the dealer network – giving EZ-Pack customers not only nearly 800 potential service outlets, but also a “one-stop shop” of a dealer that that is equipped to address all vehicle issues, from chassis to body.

Rogers said the average maintenance cost on a refuse truck is between $20,000 and $25,000 per year, meaning a strong dealer network can be vital to enhancing the productivity of the vehicles, which can run as much as $250,000 apiece.

By integrating the EZ-Pack refuse body with the LoadStar and utilizing Navistar’s Diamond Logic electrical system, maintenance issues can be quickly identified and rectified at one dealer.

The integration of the products is also part of a new business model Rogers hopes will help EZ-Pack cut into the market lead of McNeilus and Heil.

“We’re creating not only a new truck, but a new business model,” he said. “We’re going to build them the best service network this country has ever seen for trash trucks.”

And the best part of the arrangement, perhaps for customers, is that you don’t have to purchase a LoadStar with an EZ-Pack body. Customers who prefer other models will still be able to put different bodies on the LoadStar or put an EZ-Pack body on a Mack, Peterbilt or Autocar if they prefer.

That’s a win-win for everyone, it would seem. And with the reach of International (the company has more than 26% share of the severe service market), gives EZ-Pack access to customers it has never had access to before.



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I'm curious myself. In Sept 2012, Navistar said Loadstar production would begin in the second half of 2013. In October 2013, Navistar announced that they had transitioned all their models to SCR........but didn't mention the LoadStar.

I imagine the protoypes are rusting outside at their R&D center.

Speaking of the plant, Navistar is hung with a 10-year lease. This news from last year is enlightening.


Rail Car Plant Runs Full Circle, Back to Rail Cars

Business Alabama / April 2013

From rail cars to real crisis to truck line and back to rail cars. It’s taken several years, but the massive plant built by National Alabama in the Shoals will finally be used for its originally designed purpose, building rail cars.

Just before the recession hit in 2007, National Alabama — subsidiary of a Canadian rail car maker — built the plant to make rail cars for the U.S. freight market. When the bust came, those who helped finance the plant in support of jobs for the Shoals — chiefly the Retirement Systems of Alabama — were left with a plant instead of their expected return on investment.

Last year, RSA announced that it had leased the plant at last, not to a rail car maker but to truck maker Navistar, which already has operations in Huntsville. And Navistar announced plans for a new model, the LoadStar — a multi-purpose workhorse that looks sort of like a garbage truck.

But Navistar never really geared up for the LoadStar. Then, in February, Navistar announced that it has subleased part of the plant, hoping to count some of the sublessee’s employees toward the 900 Navistar needs to reap $7.67 million worth of incentive benefits. Navistar has 180 working there now, the Florence Times Daily reports.

Bringing the plant full circle, the company subleasing from Navistar is FreightCar America, which expects to build about 7,000 freight cars a year with a workforce of 200 by the end of this year and 400 by the end of 2014.

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  • 5 years later...

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