As soon as Volkswagen Truck and Bus’ investment deal in Navistar closes, teams from both companies “will sit down to go through the product portfolios of both from A to Z,” according to Troy Clark, Navistar president and CEO.
Speaking at a joint press conference with VW Truck & Bus head Andreas Renschler in Hannover, Germany, Clarke said: “It’s in our best interests to see how quickly we can align ourselves to take things to the next level.”
While VW’s experiences with its MAN and Scania truck businesses will offer new aftertreatment and transmission expertize to Navistar, “we know this doesn’t solve all of our problems,” Clarke said. “But it does create opportunities that didn’t exist six months ago.”
As part of it’s normal development cycle, VW’s truck group is working a new integrated platform that should reach the market by 2020 or 2021, according to Renschler. With the new Navistar relationship, “we will take [Navistar’s needs] into consideration in this development,” he said.
Complimenting Navistar for continuing new truck development despite financial problems, Renschler added, “and now we can bring powertrain technology.” Advanced connectivity technologies and electronics would also be an important VW resource for Navistar, he said.
Clarke pointed out that partnering has long been part of Navistar’s approach to filling its product lineup such as it’s ongoing development of a new Class 4/5 truck with General Motors.
“But if a component isn’t available, we’ll look at ways to develop it ourselves, and VW comes with a big shelf with a lot of technologies that have been well thought out.”
While the North American truck market is forecast to drop below current sales levels in 2017, “we’ll be really well positioned with new products when the market picks up in 2018,” Clarke said.