Photo: Neil Abt/Fleet Owner

Navistar touts growing benefits from Traton alliance

Sept. 25, 2018
Navistar continues to see gains from its two-year-old partnership with Traton.

HANOVER, Germany. Navistar CEO Troy Clarke said the truck and engine maker continues to see gains from its two-year-old alliance with Volkswagen Truck & Bus, which is now known as Traton

Speaking during the IAA Commercial Vehicles show, Clarke said this was never just an “investment in the company, but an alliance” that offers significant purchasing power.

In September 2016, Volkswagen Truck & Bus purchased a 16.6% stake in Navistar. Just after that announcement, Clarke touted the possibilities of the deal during a joint appearance at the 2016 IAA show with Andreas Renschler, head of VW Truck & Bus. They have since announced plans for a new North American engine platform for 2021.

This June, VW Truck & Bus changed its name to Traton, which Renschler said was aimed at creating a separate identity from parent firm Volkswagen Group. Renschler is the former head of Daimler’s global commercial vehicles division. 

Traton also includes European truck makers MAN AG and Scania. Traton and Hino announced an alliance earlier this year, and during IAA announced plans to accelerate their joint focus on electric vehicle technologies. 

Walter Borst, chief financial officer of Navistar, noted Hino was brought into Traton after Navistar, a signal the agreement has been successful. He also noted that Traton has since raised its stake in Navistar to 17% by buying shares through the open market at a higher price than the initial deal. 

Earlier this month, Navistar reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of $170 million, or $1.19 a share, compared with $37 million, or 37 cents a year earlier. Revenues jumped 18% to $2.6 billion as sales of Classes 6-8 trucks in the United States and Canada gained 26%. 

Friedrich Baumann appeared with Clarke and Borst at the IAA press gathering. Baumann was hired earlier this year as Navistar’s senior vice president for joint strategy and planning. He was previously a top executive with Daimler Trucks North America. 

He said he believed Traton will help Navistar incorporate the latest technology "into our future product line as quickly as possible.

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

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