Cat, Navistar sign vocational truck venture

CHICAGO — As expected, Caterpillar and Navistar International have signed a definitive agreement to produce Caterpillar heavy-duty vocational trucks for North America.

This is the next step in 50/50 joint venture the two companies announced last summer to pursue global commercial truck opportunities. At the time, Cat announced that it was exiting the on-highway engine business on its own but said it would cooperate with Navistar on developing off-highway power units as well as a variety of engine platforms.

As Today’s Trucking was the first to report, the latter part of the venture includes the yet-to-be released MaxxForce 15 big bore engine, which is basically a modified version of today’s Caterpillar C-15.

Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Owens said the company looks forward to becoming a significant player in the global on-highway truck market.  

Big Yellow Truck: Navistar and Cat plan to plow
further into the vocational market together

"Additionally, the introduction of a Cat Vocational Truck line in North America represents an exciting opportunity for Caterpillar and the Caterpillar dealer network to extend our reach in this market and offer customers a total job site solution."

The global aspect of the joint venture will develop, manufacture and distribute commercial trucks in regions outside of North America and India. Markets will be assessed individually with initial focus being Australia, Brazil, China, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.

It is anticipated that the portfolio of products will feature both aero nose and cabover designs and will be sold under both the Caterpillar and International brands. The first products are expected to be available as early as the third quarter of 2009.

Under the strategic alliance, Cat and Navistar will develop and manufacture a new line of heavy-duty Caterpillar vocational trucks for North America only. The units will be co-developed and manufactured in Navistar’s Garland, Texas, facility. The trucks will be sold and serviced through the Caterpillar North American dealer network.

"The heavy-duty vocational trucks will be purpose-built to complement Caterpillar’s existing product line and will give Caterpillar dealers an unmatched ability to support customer needs from extraction through delivery," said George Taylor, director and general manager of the Caterpillar Global On-Highway Department.

The Caterpillar trucks will feature key Caterpillar proprietary components and technology and will target customers who operate in a wide variety of vocational applications, such as earth moving, quarry, waste, mining, general and heavy construction, logging and road construction.

The on-highway vocational trucks will be unveiled in late 2010 and will go into full production in early 2011.  

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