Shows the MRAP Driving. High-resolution image of the MaxxPro Dash model.

Volkswagen, Fiat eyeing Navistar for U.S. commercial vehicle market

Volkswagen and Fiat would both like a piece of the considerable U.S. commercial vehicle market, a significant share of the sales projected to reach 21 million vehicles worldwide by 2015.

The New Albany OH based Commercial Vehicle Group just announced first quarter sales totaling $237 million and they’re just one player in a wide field of competitors. That's just a hint of the total value of the US market.

The Navistar International Truck and Engine Corporation is located in Lisle, IL and has been a manufacturer of medium and heavy trucks as well as mid-range diesel engines since its founding in 1902. Some may remember the company by its former name of International Harvester. They are the prime supplier of MRAP vehicles to the U.S. military.

In 2010, Navistar entered a joint venture with Mahindra International for the Asian market. Now the company is struggling, announcing a $172 million first quarter loss just last week. Simultaneously, the 5,000th truck built by the joint venture rolled off the line at the production plant in Maharashtra, India. Despite the loss, six vehicle launches are slated over the next year and a half.

Volkswagen, with its two commercial truck lines in Scania and MAN, is reportedly considering an investment in Navistar to gain a beachhead in the US commercial vehicle market.

At the same time, Fiat with their commercial vehicle called Iveco is also believed to be interested in Navistar, which would improve their position in the US market. Either possibility could be disadvantageous to Mahindra International, according to a post by Swaraj Baggonkar on the earlier today.


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Navistar just had another blow earlier this month when a federal panel of judges ruled against the EPA's exception given to the company to allow Navistar to continue producing non-compliant Maxxforce engines. When Navistar's emissions credits run out (which they are about to), they'll be forced to shut down production unless they've got a compliant engine to continue with. If anyone buys a stake in Navistar, they'll have to figure out how to get the Maxxforce online or how to refit all of the proprietary vehicles to begin using another, compliant engine. The 3-judge panel specifically said that the economic situation of Navistar is not of concern to the EPA and should not have been a reason for the exemption. Things aren't looking good for that company right now.