Navistar ending medium-duty engine production

LISLE, IL – Navistar will stop producing medium-duty engines at its plant in Melrose Park, Illinois, beginning in the second quarter of its 2018 fiscal year.

Most of the proprietary engines made in Melrose Park are nine- and 10-liter models for Class 6 and 7 trucks. Navistar reintroduced the option of a 6.7-liter Cummins engine in 2013, followed last year with the option of a nine-liter Cummins.

Cummins engines for Class 6 and 7 trucks are produced in Indiana and North Carolina, while Navistar makes big-bore engines for Class 8 trucks in Alabama.

About 170 employees will be affected, reducing Navistar’s operating costs about US $12 million per year. The company says a “significant portion” of the hourly employees are eligible for retirement.

“Ceasing production of engines at Melrose Park is a difficult decision, but represents another important step on our journey to strengthening the company’s competitiveness,” said Persio Lisboa, Navistar’s Chief Operating Officer. “Our N9/10 engine family was updated in 2014 and since then has served as a competitive niche offering for specific medium-duty vehicles. As we approach future regulatory requirements, the low volume nature of the platform could not justify further product development investments on it.”

The company still has a presence at Melrose Park, where facilities are being transformed into a technical center for testing and validating trucks and engines, and also selling and reconditioning used trucks. That transformation began in 2010. 

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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