International Truck & Engine Corp. thinks its new cabover Class 5 medium-duty product – the CF Series – is going to have its greatest appeal in the pickup and delivery market, especially among small business owners who don’t view themselves primarily as transportation providers.
“The bread and butter of the Class 5 cabover market in the U.S. is pickup and delivery customers – companies that are delivering a wide variety of goods but that don’t think of themselves as ‘trucking companies’ per se,” John Wadden, International’s manager of medium truck marketing, said at a special ‘ride and rive’ event held outside Dallas, TX.
“There are a lot of small business owners moving up from driving vans in this market but whose drivers think of themselves first as ‘delivery people’ or ‘customer service representatives,’ not as truck drivers,” he said. “In that regard, we focused on trying to simplify the CF as much as possible so it would appeal to this market.”
For that reason, Wadden said International’s CF series – comprised of the CF 500, rated at 16,000 lb. GVW, and the CF 600, rated at 19,500 lb. GVW – don’t feature the multiplexed electrical system used in the company’s conventional medium-duty product.
“The cabover market, by and large, relies on much simpler truck bodies for their applications so they don’t need to move to a more complex electrical system,” he explained. “By contrast, what they do need is higher horsepower and torque, longer overall life cycle, and better access to and affordability of replacement parts. They want a cabover designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the North American market.”
The CF Series, unveiled this year, is a joint venture between International and Ford Motor Co. through their Blue Diamond partnership. International’s CF series will be commercially available starting in January 2005, Wadden said.