Autocar starts up again

Feb. 1, 2002
One of the oldest names in the truck industry is back on the road as Autocar-badged Xpeditor Class 8 trucks began rolling off the assembly line late last month. Autocar was originally founded in 1899 and produced its first truck in 1907. Last July, Grand Vehicle Works Holding LLC (GVW) formed Autocar LLC after purchasing the venerable brand name and the Xpeditor low-cab-over-engine line from Volvo

One of the oldest names in the truck industry is back on the road as Autocar-badged Xpeditor Class 8 trucks began rolling off the assembly line late last month. Autocar was originally founded in 1899 and produced its first truck in 1907.

Last July, Grand Vehicle Works Holding LLC (GVW) formed Autocar LLC after purchasing the venerable brand name and the Xpeditor low-cab-over-engine line from Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA), which had been producing the Xpeditor as a Volvo vehicle and had ceased producing trucks under the Autocar name.

Initially, the low-entry Xpeditor is being marketed as a refuse collection truck, although it will eventually expand to other niche markets, according to Autocar president Bob Enright. Enright also serves as president of Union City Body Co., another GVW subsidiary.

The Xpeditor is being offered in two versions, the WXLL step-in cab and the WX step-up cab. Both are available with dual-steer options and a variety of axle ratings. The first models are powered by either Volvo or Cummins diesels with ratings up to 350 hp., and other power options are under consideration. Allison MD automatic transmissions are standard.

The Xpeditor is currently being produced on a contract basis at VTNA's New River Valley plant in Dublin, VA. “We've been searching for our own ‘apartment’ and have narrowed it down to three sites,” says Enright. “We expect to make a decision in the next few weeks.”

The new truck maker with the old name has approximately 70 dealers lined up to provide sales and service support, says Enright. It is also involved in discussions with refuse-body suppliers to explore factory-installed body options and to look at engineering changes to the chassis to ease body installation.

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