Continental Divide: The differences between European and North American trucks
TORONTO, Ont. -- The manufacturers of North American and European trucks are more closely aligned than ever. But as close as the companies have drawn together, the equipment itself can appear a world apart. Different regulations are just one reason.
VW shows interest in majority Navistar stake
MUNICH, Germany – Volkswagen is showing interest in acquiring a majority of Navistar “at some point,” building on a minority stake that has already been secured. Volkswagen Truck and Bus acquired 16.6% of Navistar in 2016, and has already committed to developing a joint big bore powertrain for the North American market, as well as a medium-duty electric powertrain. Now Volkswagen's commercial arm is also preparing for a potential stock listing as it looks to take on other global manufacturers including Daimler and Volvo.
Context: Understanding electric trucks
Electric trucks seem to be all the rage today, just as natural gas was to be the industry's salvation just a few years back. There's not much excitement in natural gas today, though it remains a viable alternative fuel. Electric trucks, on the other hand, are just beginning their climb to prominence. Interest in electric trucks peaked in November with the world's first look at Tesla's Electric Semi. Whether Tesla can carry the torch for battery-powered heavy trucks remains to be seen, but Elon Musk isn't only player in the market. Transpower's electric Class 8 tractor uses a conventional drivetrain, but with a 400-horsepower electric motor. It has a range of up to 160 kilometers at full load. I drove a fully electric plug-in Transpower USA Class 8 tractor back in 2015. That truck had been in field tests at the port of Long Beach, California, for two years prior to that. The company made headlines recently announcing a partnership with Meritor that will make its technology commercially available in the spring of this year.
Navistar, VW promise electric powertrain
ATLANTA, GA - Navistar will bring a medium-duty electric powertrain to the North American marketplace by 2019/20, drawing on technical expertise available through Volkswagen Truck and Bus. "There is an opportunity for electric and electric vehicles in the North American market," said Troy Clarke, chairman, president, and Chief Executive Officer, referring specifically to the Class 6/7 segment. "It is still in the early stages of the product development cycle there, but that's the target." Volkswagen officially secured a 16.6% stake in the company in March, and is already expected to bring a big bore diesel powertrain to North America by 2021 in addition to sharing other technologies. It won't be Navistar's first foray into electric vehicles. The company launched its Class 3 eStar van several years ago, but that model was ahead of its time, Clarke said in a presentation during the North American Commercial Vehicle Show. MAN, a European nameplate owned by Volkswagen, recently released an electric truck of its own in the form of the eTruck.
A marriage made in Europe — VW and Navistar
Volkswagen Truck and Bus stunned North America's trucking industry when it purchased a 16.6% stake in Navistar. The companies are now investigating synergies that could create an estimated $500 million in savings - and bring a Volkswagen-engineered powertrain to our market by 2019.
European truck makers fined billions for price fixing
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM -- The European Union is fining five truck makers nearly 3 billion euros (Cdn $4.3 billion) for acting as a cartel to fix prices of medium and heavy-duty trucks and time the introduction of technologies to comply with emissions rules. It's the highest fines ever imposed by the EU for a single cartel - twice the previous highest amount, imposed in 2012, according to Margrethe Vestager, the European Union's competition commissioner, in a statement. MAN (now owned by Volkswagen), Daimler, DAF (owned by Paccar), Iveco and Volvo/Renault -- which together account for around nine out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks sold in Europe -- had been working together for 14 years, from 1997 until the European Commission's investigation in 2011 put a stop to it.