It’s a relationship that seemed doomed from the start. Cat paired with Navistar when it entered the vocational truck space a few years ago and there was trouble almost immediately, when Navistar announced it would abandon development of a 15-litre engine.
The Cat truck was one that really required a 15-litre engine. Lack of one has probably stunted the truck’s growth, especially here in Canada.
Cat announced last week that it will be ending its partnership with Navistar and will bring production of the full line of Cat trucks to its existing Victoria, Texas machine plant. This will give Caterpillar more control over production processes, costs and the supply chain, executives told me in an exclusive interview.
The truck itself won’t look significantly different, at least not right away. Nor should it. It’s a great looking truck. Making things more interesting, Navistar announced almost immediately that it will launch a new severe-service vocational truck next year, drawing on shared intellectual property and resulting from the Cat venture. Will we see a Cat clone? I doubt it. But it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here.
No word yet on what the 15L engine Cat has alluded to, set to launch later this year, will look like. We’ll have to wait patiently for that.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies