Navistar on verge of buying GM truck unit

CHICAGO — Commenting on what market analysts have been speculating for months, Navistar has confirmed that it’s seriously looking at acquiring GM’s medium-duty truck business.

In a call to reporters and Wall Street analysts this morning to discuss the truckmaker’s financial results, CEO Dan Ustian admitted the two companies have been in negotiations for months and predicted that an agreement might be signed “within a short period of time”.

In its financial report, the parent company of International Truck & Engine, indicated it would invest as much as $100 million in the GM division. That figure is a projection of investment in the business if Navistar operated it, such as capital, SG & A, etc. It is not a purchase price as previously alluded to by media. Navistar and GM are still in discussions and have not reported a purchase price.

According to several news reports going back to May, GM has been mulling the sale for some time. Both companies had previously declined to comment on the reports.

GM, which reportedly wants to focus on cars and light trucks, has a modest slice of the medium-duty truck market with its Kodiak, TopKick and Isuzu T-Series brands.

Navistar, which is in a bitter supply relationship with Ford for the latter’s F-series diesel engines, is the North American market share leader in class 5 to 7 trucks, making GM’s MD portfolio a logical fit.

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