Navistar reports ‘breakthrough’ year

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LISLE, IL – Navistar returned to profitability in 2017, reporting net income of $30 million compared to a net loss of $97 million in the 2016 fiscal year.

Revenue in the fourth quarter of this year was up 26%, to $2.6 billion, largely driven by a 31% increase in Class 6-8 truck and bus volumes in the U.S. and Canada. Revenue for the fiscal year was up 6% to $8.6 billion, compared to $8.1 billion in the previous year.

The truck segment recorded a loss of $6 million, a dramatic improvement compared to a loss of $189 million in the 2016 fiscal year. But the parts segment posted a $616-million profit, down from $640 million in 2016. The dip in the latter business was largely linked to smaller margins for Blue Diamond Parts, although that was partially offset by a slight increase in North American core market volumes.

“Our 2017 was a breakthrough year, as we returned to profitability and grew our market share 1.5 points,” said Troy A. Clarke, chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer. “These results were driven by stronger sales, our steady investment in the industry’s newest product lineup, early results from our strategic alliance with Volkswagen Truck and Bus, and our ongoing focus on cost.”

For the year ahead, Navistar expects the Class 6-8 market to grow to between 345,000 and 375,000 units in Canada and the U.S. That establishes expected revenues for the company at between $9 and $9.5 billion.

“We think 2018 is shaping up to be one of the strongest industry years this decade, and we’re positioned to make it a breakout year for Navistar,” Clarke said.

It’s been a busy end to 2017, with Navistar launching the HV Series of vocational trucks, and announcing that it would converge connected vehicle activities with Volkswagen Truck and Bus. Navistar’s OnCommand Connection alone has 37,000 connected vehicles.

The company has also announced plans to partner with Volkswagen Truck and Bus to launch a big-bore diesel engine and electric medium-duty and electric bus platforms as early as 2019.

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

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