The announcement was part of a joint media event on Sept. 25 at the North American Commercial Vehicle show. VW last year agreed to purchase a 16.94% stake in Navistar – a deal that formally closed in March.
At NACV, the companies also said they will develop an electric-powered, medium-duty vehicle for the United States and Canada in late 2019 or early 2020.
“Our alliance with Volkswagen Truck & Bus is allowing us to move much more quickly into electric propulsion thanks to our ability to leverage their technology investments and components in segments of the market where we’re already a leader,” said Troy A. Clarke, Navistar’s chairman, president, and CEO. “We believe the Class 6/7 vehicle is ideal for electric powertrain solutions in the near term, given its abundance of packaging space, and that these vehicles typically run short distances and can depot to recharge at the end of the day.”
During the press event, Clarke and Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, unveiled the companies will converge their connectivity platform – Navistar’s OnCommand Connection and VWs RIO – creating a single global connected platform that would cover about 650,000 vehicles worldwide. That will begin with the adoption of common, in-cab connecting device hardware.
Apart from the news related to the joint venture, Navistar shared a series of other developments, including the launch of the HV truck available with the International A26 12.4 liter engine.
Additionally, it said a 51-inch sleeper cab is now an available for both its HX520 and HX620 vocational models. The A26 engine is also now an option for the full HX series, Navistar said.
Several upcoming enhancements to OnCommand Connection were also shown, including a “live action” feature that can better predict problems with parts before there is a failure.