VW plans to buy stake in US truckmaker Navistar image

Volkswagen Ag, Europe’s largest carmaker is examining the possibility to take a stake in in troubled US truckmaker Navistar International, the Financial Times Deutschland reported on Sunday.

Without citing sources, the paper wrote that entering the U.S. market via Navistar would help it better compete with Daimler Trucks, the world’s largest commercial vehicle maker, which owns the U.S. truck brand Freightliner.

If Volkswagen wants to take a stake in Navistar, it may need to get the support of Icahn, who previously is said to have wanted Navistar to be merged with heavy truck manufacturer Oshkosh Corp.
On Friday, Icahn disclosed in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that he had increased his stake in Navistar to 11.87 percent from 9.99 percent. Analysts said this indicates that the activist investor retains an interest in the future of the Lisle, Illinois-based company.

However, Navistar International Corp.’s stock plummeted Thursday as it reported a second-quarter net loss of $172 million, or $2.50 per share.

The company’s truck business recorded a loss of $89 million for the quarter from a $92 million profit a year earlier. The engine business had a $108 million deficit compared with a $2 million profit.
Also, last week Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its ratings on Navistar International Corp., including the corporate credit rating to ‘B+’, from ‘BB-‘.

Besides VW AG, Fiat Chairman Sergio Marchionne on Friday suggested he was interested in Navistar.

“We are interested in building our presence in the U.S. truck market,” Marchionne told reporters when asked if Fiat was interested in bidding for Navistar.