Navistar set to deliver ISB-powered DuraStar trucks

Jason Cannon

December 27, 2013

Navistar, Inc. says it has started customer shipments of its first International DuraStar vehicles with the Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine.

The first units were released from the company’s Escobedo, Mexico assembly plant with initial customers such as Budget Truck Rental, Idealease and Penske.

“The addition of the ISB to our portfolio in early September was the driving factor in achieving, just weeks later, our best Class 6/7 order month in two years,” says Bill Kozek, Navistar president, North America Truck and Parts. “Today we have received orders for more than 4,500 DuraStar units.”

Navistar COO Jack Allen says the company’s medium duty market share declined to 20 percent in the final quarter of the year, as company’s held off on purchasing equipment in anticipation of the announcement of the ISB engine in International’s medium-duty trucks.

“We announced this offering in September, the market reaction has gone extremely well,” he says. “In fact, we’ve already secured over 6,000 truck and bus orders. And our Class 6, 7 order intake percentage in Q4 was 27 percent, our highest level in the year. So we’re quite pleased with the direction so far.”

The DuraStar is available with the broadest array of specifications in the medium-duty industry and the addition of the Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine now expands Navistar’s product reach to a wider audience. The DuraStar is also available with the MaxxForce 7, MaxxForce DT and MaxxForce 9 – in many horsepower and torque ranges.

Allen says Navistar started production and shipments if ISB-powered units in December.

“By the end of this month,” he says, “we would have built and shipped about 500 trucks and buses with the ISB.”

Navistar is on track to being regular production of IC Bus CE Series school buses with the Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine in late-January 2014. To date, the company has received more than 6,000 orders for medium-duty trucks and school buses with the ISB engine.

Allen adds, from an order book standpoint, the company saw two waves in orders.

“I guess the way to think about this is when we announced the ISB in our product line, we saw 2 phenomenons,” he says. “We saw our dealers place some real significant orders for their stock inventory. And then we saw a number of very significant fleets also place orders for delivery starting primarily in our second quarter and going out through the rest of the year. And that’s what’s built up our order bank. So we’re just starting to ship these products now, so really, the dealers don’t have them yet. But I know from conversations with them, many of those are presold. So we expect those medium-duty products get out there with our dealers. We’ll see the dealer percentage of the total start to ramp back up to a more normalized percentage between fleet and dealer. But today it is certainly fleet oriented in our order book.”

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