General Motors, the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world announced Wednesday it would jointly develop and manufacture medium-duty commercial vehicles with truck and engine maker Navistar International.
The upcoming models would be collaboratively produced by having Navistar’s rolling chassis configurations and manufacturing capabilities paired to GM’s commercial components and engines. The new joint venture would allow Chevrolet to lift its market share in the commercial truck business sector, added General Motors. The joint venture “strengthens Chevrolet’s providing commercial customers with more choices and one-stop shopping for a versatile lineup of trucks, vans and crossovers,” commented Ed Peper, GM’s US vice president of fleet and commercial sales. Manufacturing of the new range of products has been scheduled to begin starting with 2018 at Navistar’s production facility in Springfield, Ohio. The partnership is going to help Navistar add 300 new jobs and also decided to spend $12 million to update the plant and equipment.
The Lisle, Illinois-based truck maker sees the move as a great way of lifting the “medium-duty product portfolio and leverage our scale and expertise in manufacturing medium-duty trucks,” commented Bill Kozek, president of trucks and parts at Navistar. The company, once a force in the world of truck engines, has been struggling to recover from a rather disastrous move to develop an expensive proprietary smog-reduction system that proved extremely unsuccessful. Even this month Navistar announced its 12th straight quarterly loss, though executives were now confident the ongoing restructuring and new deals such as the one made with GM would help the company return to profitability next year.