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Navistar ready for product-sharing with VW


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Fleet Owner  /  September 22, 2016

Investment will 'create opportunities that didn’t exist six months ago.'

As soon as Volkswagen Truck and Bus' investment deal in Navistar closes, teams from both companies "will sit down to go through the product portfolios of both from A to Z," according to Troy Clark, Navistar president and CEO. Speaking at a joint press conference with VW Truck & Bus head Andreas Renschler at IAA 2016 in Hannover, Germany, Clarke said: "It's in our best interests to see how quickly we can align ourselves to take things to the next level."

While VW's experience with its MAN and Scania truck businesses will offer new aftertreatment and transmission expertise to Navistar, "we know this doesn't solve all of our problems," Clarke said. "But it does create opportunities that didn't exist six months ago."

As part of its normal development cycle, VW's truck group is working on a new integrated platform that should reach the market by 2020 or 2021, according to Renschler. With the new Navistar relationship, “we will take [Navistar’s needs] into consideration in this development,” he said.

Complimenting Navistar for continuing new truck development despite financial problems, Renschler added, "and now we can bring powertrain technology." Advanced connectivity technologies and electronics would also be an important VW resource for Navistar, he said.

Clarke pointed out that partnering has long been part of Navistar's approach to filling its product lineup such as its ongoing development of a new Class 4/5 truck with General Motors.

"But if a component isn't available, we'll look at ways to develop it ourselves, and VW comes with a big shelf with a lot of technologies that have been well thought out," he noted.

While the North American truck market is forecast to drop below current sales levels in 2017, "we'll be really well positioned with new products when the market picks up in 2018," Clarke said.


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Navistar, Volkswagen outline strategies for new partnership

Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ)  /  September 21, 2016

Even though there only a handful of players, the OEM truck business in North America is a complex market. All major players, save one, have relationships or ownership in countries that provide a global presence – Volvo and Mack, Daimler with Freightliner and Western Star and Paccar and DAF.

Until two weeks ago, Navistar was the only player in the North American market without true international ties, and Volkswagen was a major European player without a stake in North America. That all changed with the announcement from Navistar and Volkswagen that the German truck and bus maker had secured a 16.6 percent stake in Navistar.

Top brass from the two companies sat down with the North American press for a roundtable discussion of the new partnership and what it means for both companies as well as Navistar’s existing North American fleet customers and dealers.

“We are looking forward to a successful alliance,” said Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus. “Navistar needs what we can offer drivetrain-wise – including engine, transmission and axle. [Volkswagen] is at the moment developing new product lines, and we can put all the requirements from Navistar into that development.”

Dialogue between Navistar and Volkswagen – which also operates the MAN and Scania business units in Europe and abroad – began a year ago on opportunities to synergize and strengthen each company, culminating in Volkswagen’s recent investment.

“You see a lot of change [in the trucking industry] and we are excited to have found a partner that looks at future the way we do and with whom we have a high degree of alignment,” said Troy Clarke, CEO of Navistar. “We have a common vision on how the industry will develop and how to address those issues. That we can do it better together makes it a perfect fit.”

With its investment, Volkswagen now has an equal stake with Navistar’s two largest existing shareholders, according to Navistar CFO Walter Borst. “We’ll be able to explore advanced technologies, and for Navistar to do that on our own would be cost-prohibitive,” he added.

The timing of Volkswagen’s investment couldn’t be better for Navistar, a company that is climbing back from the ill-fated decision to pursue exhaust gas recirculation technology to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 emissions standards when the rest of the industry ultimately went with selective catalytic reduction solution.

“Unfortunately we turned left and they went right,” said Clarke. “We have done a lot to repair ourselves and make us a good partner but also are a good standalone company. Our business is operating as well as it has in a long time. This [partnership] doesn’t solve all the problems our company has, but it creates opportunities we didn’t have a few weeks ago.”

Clarke said customer reaction from both large fleets and Navistar’s dealer network has been extremely positive in the two weeks since the announcement, but added that customers shouldn’t look for a new engine solution in the next few years.

“We are going to look at where the industry will be 10 to 15 years from now and work back from that point,” said Clarke, but added the two companies will look for immediate opportunities to create working processes on new projects.

“We are looking forward to understanding where those opportunities exist,” added Clarke, pointing to Volkswagen’s new RIO telematics and connectivity architecture as an example, a solution similar to Navistar’s OnCommand Connection solution in North America.

Renschler pegged 2021 as a realistic target date for Volkswagen to deliver an engine solution developed specifically for the needs of Navistar’s customers in the North American market, but stressed the companies would share technologies to strengthen both brands as opposed to Volkswagen simply supplying a powertrain solution to Navistar customers.

“As a group, we have potential because we can use components from each other and go into [emerging] markets,” said Renschler. “No one regional player alone can do that. We have a mission to bring transport to the next level and will move from being a hardware manufacturer to focus on transport efficiency. New drivetrain technology is one thing, but to enable our customers more profitable and more efficient, that is our goal.

Renschler is no stranger to the North American truck market, having served as head of Daimler Trucks until two years ago, but noted a number of changes in the industry during that time, including the rapid adoption of automated manual transmissions, air disc brakes and now the push toward autonomous technology.


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Chats about truck industry’s future preceded VW, Navistar deal

Truck News  /  September 22, 2016

Discussions between Navistar and Volkswagen, which recently led to the formation of a strategic alliance between the two truck makers, began in March and initially focused on the future of the trucking industry as a whole.

That, according to Navistar CEO Troy Clarke and Volkswagen Truck & Bus boss Andreas Renschler, who this week met with the North American truck press at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show.

“We started to talk about our visions of the future of the truck industry and that led to a series of opportunities to sit down and continue this dialogue about what the future of the industry looked like,” Clarke recalled of those early meetings. “At some point in time, we said why not see if there is something we can do together.”

The deal, which say Volkswagen take a 16.6% stake in Navistar, will also see it bring its integrated powertrain to International trucks. The two companies will also source parts together on a global scale to drive out costs and will collaborate on the development of new technologies.

“We are looking forward to a really successful alliance and I think we have a very, very good chance,” Renschler said.

Volkswagen becomes one of Navistar’s largest shareholders as a result of the deal and will have two seats on the Navistar board. Clarke said “tremendous change” is coming to the truck industry over the next decade and that the company is better suited to address these opportunities while aligned with a global powerhouse such as Volkswagen.

“It’s a really good thing,” Clarke said, noting customers and dealers have welcomed the recent announcement.

“It is, from my point of view, a natural fit at the right moment,” Renschler added.

That’s because Navistar is currently redesigning its vehicle line and Volkswagen is developing a new powertrain platform for its global markets. Joining forces now allows engineers from both companies to work together towards integrating those products. Renschler said it will be 2020 or 2021 before the new global powertrain is rolled out.

Gaining a foothold in the North American market also allows Volkswagen to pursue its goal of becoming a “global champion,” Renschler added.

Navistar benefits from gaining global scale and also gets a cash injection as the result of the deal.

“It doesn’t solve all the problems but it creates opportunities that didn’t exist six months ago for us,” Clarke said.

“Our business is operating as well as, or better than, it has in a long time,” he added. “We are well positioned for what’s next.”


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4 hours ago, james j neiweem said:

Bye bye Cummins.

Nothing would please me more than for Cummins to be a global leader in heavy truck engines. But with a high opinion of themselves and their products, they've been slow for decades in bringing new product to market. And, aside from cutting edge XPI common rail fuel injection influenced by partner Scania, the engines have been falling behind their rivals in technology.

In the meanwhile, the other global heavy truck engine makers have been aggressively working to be the "best of the best". There's a fierce war going on, but Cummins out on the golf course isn't aware of it.

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8 hours ago, TeamsterGrrrl said:

Well, Navistar was kinda getting to be an old maid. And while Papa VW may be a "Sugar Daddy", he ain't no spring chicken either...

I don't view it that way at all. Dan Ustian, a fine engineer but no leader, led Navistar down many wrong paths during his tenure. He was ousted......finally. Now, Clarke and the Paccar gang have literally rebuilt the company as it should be in year 2016. No easy task, but they met the challenge and deserve critical praise for a job well done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

VW-Navistar Deal to Yield New Engine Platform for 2021

Transport Topics  /  October 3, 2016

The recently announced Volkswagen-Navistar deal will yield a new North American engine platform for 2021, the top executives with both companies said here.

At a briefing with U.S. and Canadian trucking media at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show on Sept. 21, Andreas Renschler, head of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, and Navistar CEO Troy Clarke and Chief Financial Officer Walter Borst shared details of how the partnership came to fruition and how they will proceed once it officially closes.

“We are, at the moment, developing new product lines [for the company’s brands] … and can put all the requirements from Navistar, as well, into this development,” Renschler said. VW also controls Euro- pean truck makers MAN SE and Scania Group.

“We are so excited to have found a partner … that looks at the future very similar to how we do and can bring technology, scale and get a high degree of alignment on how we look at the future,” Clarke said.

There was no visible Navistar presence at Volkswagen’s exhibit space at IAA but at a media event Sept. 20 that showcased VW’s truck family, Renschler and Clarke made an entrance in an International ProStar.

At the briefing, Clarke said once the deal closes — by early next year is the current schedule — the companies plan to “review portfolios from A to Z to see how quick we can align them.”

Clarke noted that Navistar’s current N13 engine is based on technology from MAN’s 13-liter version that meets Euro6 emission standards.

The 2021 date for a new engine platform is significant because of the new Phase 2 federal greenhouse-gas rule. Made final in August, the regulation says trucks and engines manufactured in that year must tighten their emissions of carbon dioxide and other GHGs.

Clarke said that VW and Navistar will be shipping engines to each other and looking for “immediate opportunities to save” while looking for “where are we going to be 10 years from today or 15 years from today.”

Clarke cited telematics as one area where Navistar’s OnCommand Connect program could likely be enhanced by VW’s RIO system that debuted at IAA.

VW said RIO allows all pieces of the supply chain to connect through a single system and offers recommendations for action in real time based on data analysts and other information.

Borst, who was wearing a RIO pin on his suit jacket, said that VW’s 16.6% stake is in line with the two other largest shareholders and provides appropriate representation on the board of directors. He said that it could have been cost- prohibitive for Navistar to invest in advanced technologies on its own.

Clarke said the five largest shareholders own more than 85% of the Lisle, Illinois-based firm and the 10 largest hold about 93%.

Carl Icahn and Mark Rachesky each own more than 16% of Navistar.

Feedback from Navistar’s customers has been “very positive,” said Clarke, who also joked that Borst was hugged by a dealer after an emergency meeting, which he had never seen before.

Clarke said he initially met with Renschler for dinner about a year ago and was impressed with his deep knowledge of the U.S. truck market. Renschler previously was head of Daimler AG’s commercial vehicles division, including Freightliner and Western Star Trucks in North America.

The two continued to meet on occasion to discuss their visions for the future of truck making, and around March, the companies launched serious negotiations about a venture.

As Clarke and the new Navistar leadership team have spent several years setting a new direction after the company’s failed emissions strategy at the start of the decade, he said the team had “taken steps to prepare for a partner but at the same time has become a better stand-alone company.”

All three executives touted the timing of the deal, saying the current slowdown in truck sales provides them a chance to align the companies for when the North American region regains momentum.

Navistar has been the largest purchaser of the Class 8 engines made by Cummins Inc., based on the percentage of engines used. In response to a question during Cummins’ press conference at IAA, CEO Tom Linebarger said the VW deal actually could provide a boost for the independent engine maker.

“At first, you might think that it is really bad,” Linebarger said, but the agreement will give Navistar’s customers additional confidence in the company’s turnaround. That will lift its total sales, including those with Cummins engines.

“I believe our ability to be agile and be customer partners … has served us for a long time and, I believe, will serve us for a long time in the future,” he said.

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Having driven both the double bunk century class and it's Navistar equivalent, up until 2008, the difference in quality to a lifelong "gearhead" like myself is apparent. Every facet of the Navistar cab and interior is noticeably better quality than the Freightliner.To be fair,the plastic "bump" in the Navistar bunk is annoying, but not insurmountable to a tall skinny dude like me! The teardrop mirrors are better looking but take some getting used to on the Navistar.All this is academic,because driver opinion falls waaaay behind cost in most big fleets! Until I started viewing this website I've never driven or had any exposure to a foreign built class 8 truck, except for a new Mid-Liner, which I consider the medium duty equivalent of a Renault Dauphine!

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