GM, Navistar Partner to Build Commercial Trucks

TerraStar_Dump II

In an aggressive play to further penetrate the commercial truck marketplace, GM and Navistar International Corp. have entered into a long-term partnership agreement to produce medium-duty Class 4 and 5 trucks.

GM walked away from the medium-duty segment in 2009 when it killed the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC TopKick work trucks, but it has reconsidered and teamed up with longtime chassis and engine builder Navistar. Ford partnered with Navistar on the two-generations-ago Super Duty lineup, but had problems with the Navistar-built 6.0-liter V-8 Power Stroke. Ford eventually severed its relationship with Navistar and moved Super Duty powertrain responsibilities in house.

A joint press release reports that Navistar will add as many as 300 jobs and invest more than $12 million in new equipment and facility upgrades to produce the new trucks. GM has not announced what investments it will make.

According to Automotive News, Navistar has struggled to keep top executives and improve cash flow due to previous issues regarding emissions compliance and technology strategies on some of its heavy-duty engines.

Production of GM's new commercial duty truck is scheduled to begin in 2018; early reports say Navistar will be responsible for the rolling chassis and GM will supply the commercial components and engines.

Manufacturer images


Navistar Terrastar 2 II



More jobs so why not.

Ford and International had cooperative agreements dating back to the 60's. Some of the medium size IH trucks were assembled in Ford plants. My granddad's tandem axle flat tilt bed truck was assembled in a Ford plant. It is much better to partner with Navistar that has been making these trucks since their beginnings than to start from scratch. Regardless of some fan boys opinions International has a long history of making trucks, farm equipment, and heavy duty equipment. International made pickups until the late 70's and they were Number 3 in pickup sales ahead of Dodge. In 1985 J I Case bought the equipment part along with the International Harvester name and the truck division became a separate entity named Navistar.

Can u say ugly truck

Is this truck any uglier than a Ford Super Duty? Most businesses that buy midsize trucks are not buying them based on looks. Commercial buyers are not the same as individual retail buyers.

as long as it has the Duramax and Allison... I hope and Pray this doesnt lead to som sort of joint engine developement... I'd Completely walk away from GM if they ever used JUNK international diesels in thier trucks...

I can already see GM putting a weird cab on it. Another disaster? Guaranteed. They need to simply do what Ford and Ram sell. Class 4 and 5 commercial trucks, on pickup Super Duty and Ram platforms. Simple trucks based on *proven* and common pickups with all the 'bugs' worked out. And ready to work with virtually no downtime.

Nope, not for GM. An unreliable, annoying truck with a big dopey cab that you climb up in, mirrors that block your view and a huge 'tilt' front end.

I see some problems to over come. I have to believe GM may be working on it but still see issues. Mostly for the customer. Engine, repairs go to a GM dealer, unless the GM dealer is certified to work on any other Allison than what is in the 2500 and 3500, it to will need to go to a Allison dealer. ABS problems, a dealer certified and trained on WABCO/Meritor brakes. Unless they modify their own braking system. GM dealers had many years to restructure because of no medium duty trucks. So now you hope the dealer has the equipment, tools, scan tool software,trained medium duty techs etc.

I do have to wonder if a large gas engine is coming out. Gas engines in this segment has advantages as far as maintenance, lower operating cost with decent power and lower price tags.

@LMAO Agree about the gas engines, especially in places where it's colder than 50 degrees (average daytime temps) for much of the year (Canada? northern Europe, northern US...)

Impact of gasoline fuels is seen by some as a negative, but is mitigated by the fact that people leave their diesels idling a LOT in the winter for perfectly practical reasons. I think it's a wash.

Businesses are always on the lookout for new investment. As long as Washington and other major capitals keeping running their mouth about carbon, and climate, the investors will be facing greater risk.

There's also the constant risk to an automaker that the government will subsidize your competitors at your peril. Look at how much the government spent to stimulate the demand for electric cars and today it's toast. Dead.

I think a joint venture for GM makes perfect sense.

Ford also offers gas engines in their medium-duty commercial trucks. GM has some good engines for medium-duty commercial use. International offers some solid medium-duty commercial trucks. Take the IH trucks and offer the Duramax and GM gas engines and GM air conditioning. Navistar should furnish the cabs and frame. There is no need to get the Government involved in this joint venture.

GM chassis can be big school bus comeback with Bluebird or IC other school bus company can order GM chassis?

his is the second time that GM has looked into teaming up with Navistar for the medium duty conventional cab business. Prior to GM killing the line in 2009, Navistar was supposed to build the trucks for them in Springfield OH as well. It did not come to pass then because GM did not have work for the folks at the Flint plant to replace it with. This proposal had reached the point where Ford was going to pull their F650/750 production from Navistar (the Blue Diamond JV) in response. Ford was going to have Magna build the F650/750 for them instead. The Ford/Magna deal had reached the point of prototype builds (I processed the driveshaft orders for them) before the plug was pulled on that as well.

8.1 is one of the best gassers ever, GM could easily update/bring back the 8.1 or modify the 502 or even 572, Ford wishes they had some many hot engines, you can buy them ready to run directly from GM.

@Jeff S Actually Jeff I'm not proposing that the government involve itself at all!

There are two unfortunate ways that Washington (and the EU) invites itself to the party.

1. government regulations that affect Detroit
2. government investment (dis-investment???)

Regulations are fairly passive actors in this area, so called investments are active ways that Washington gets into the act. Both are destructive but the regulatory game is easy to fix--just end it.

Stop doing it. Put responsibility for these matters like EPA and Commerce Dept at the state level. If California wants to run their auto industry out of the state, that's their business--Hello Alabama, Texas, South Carolina.

California could be an innovative exporter of energy (crude oil & gas) but they chose not too. Their problem.

Investment is another thing...Washington's checkbook is a form of seduction that Detroit cannot resist. Washington's bailouts and loans invariably end up hurting the folks most needing help, but that's just the way it goes, right?

No match for Hino!

That's right hino is probably that undisputed best light medium duty truck out there

Hino Is the best right now! they still have issues, but If i was buying brand new rollback it would be a hino!

As far as sending work out. shops that do this work all the time are permitted to do the warranty work on engines, transmissions, emissions, etc... Cummins, Allison or whomever stays in close contact with the shop and even sends guys out to check on the progress of the job. the reason why ends up being the distance that the vehicle is away isnt worth having it towed thousand miles to a certified dealer. Plus the private shops are better IMHO. I know some seriously smart guys that have close to 50years experience in the field. They are much better at completing a job correct than a young gun with a certification. maybe on the very newest things out there might be something that isnt known but its rare. they swap back and forth between old designs and call them new.

As far as sending work out. shops that do this work all the time are permitted to do the warranty work on engines, transmissions, emissions, etc... Cummins, Allison or whomever stays in close contact

Posted by: Brandon D | Oct 4, 2015 12:37:23 PM

This is actually far from the truth. Every dealer whether it is an international dealer, Freightliner dealer etc needs to buy the rights to be an authorized warranty repair center for certain components. There are also several different tiers of warranty work that is allowed. Out current dealers in our area for International trucks are able to work on under warranty pre 2010 Cummins. No Allison transmissions at all. You have to buy into the repair side and get approval. In the medium duty market everything is buying into the service side for the dealers.

Hino Is the best right now! they still have issues, but If i was buying brand new rollback it would be a hino!

Posted by: Brandon D | Oct 4, 2015 12:37:23 PM

I have not heard anything good about Hino yet. We have a local dealer and there is a lot of them in the service department. UPS is using some of them also and the drivers do not seem to like them at all right now. but the negativity is pretty local and is not based on a whole lot right now.

Navistar are the " wooden spoon" as far MDT/ HDT truck sales go in Australia
They left once, came back with CAT branded trucks and are still struggling.
A lot of US derived, European and Japanese Trucks in front of them.
The Euro/Japanese competition does not exist in NA, so this GM/Navistar Truck maybe successful

@papa jim--I never stated that you proposed Government intervention, I stated that the Government should not get involved in this venture which by that statement parallels your previous comments. There are areas where the Government needs to get involved and there are areas where it shouldn't. There are areas where Government intervention has been successful and there are areas where Government involvement has had disastrous consequences. A venture between GM and Navistar has benefits for both corporations and this venture will either succeed or fail. Businesses can make decisions without Government aid or intervention.

Robert Ryan,
US style trucks are becoming rarer, but this is anecdotal from my perspective.

Even with our semi trailers US based trucks are becoming less and less as the Euro and Japanese trucks create trucks that are cheaper to operate.

This industry comes down to cost over life, not how much it cost to step into a truck.

Navistar here is seen as a bottom end cheap truck. Izuzu does still rule in the rigid market.

They should make it look like this truck

Sounds like desperation for Navistar. They're probably partnering with GM because they're still butt hurt that Ford dropped them haha. Come on GM, you have Isuzu and now Navistar. Have you lost your ability to build your own trucks? I have to say though, I'm a bit disappointed because I own a 7.3 powerstroke. It's always been my baby but this news kinda makes me dissatisfied with it.

Only good international left is the 9900

Good move.. I like International ..and love big trucks.

Seems more companies are sharing vehicles today.

The problem was Ford with the Navistar Diesels.. Ford redid things and screwed them up...Ford=Fail !

The problem was Ford with the Navistar Diesels.. Ford redid things and screwed them up...Ford=Fail !

Posted by: Truck Guy | Oct 4, 2015 8:52:56 PM

LOL, go to any International dealer and ask them about the all International built DT365 and Maxforce 7. Education is a wonderful thing. I will give you a hint, International has discontinued both engines due to severe reliability issues.

In fact International has issues across the board with their engines. Even class action lawsuits on their bigger engines. International needs to stay away from the emissions diesel engine market.

I really do hope GM can make something of Navistar.

I do like IH vehicles of yore and do think the issues that Navistar had with Ford were Ford's fault.

Hopefully GM can work with Navistar and create a larger market for their trucks. Engines can be sourced from many suppliers, even GM make pretty good diesel engines.

There would also be transfer of tech and ideas.

BAFO, why is international still having engine problems if it was all Ford's fault. Or are speaking from a strongly bias point of veiw as you always do?

Or Scott, or Cummins, or Aulone, or etc.

Are they???

Or are you just drumming up Frod business as usual??

Get real, sunshine.

GM can make Navistar into a better outfit than Ford could.

GM seems to have the will to try out different vehicles than Ford, ie, Colorado/Canyon.

GM in my mind is more progressive from a business perspective than Frod.

I'm sorry, I missed tyed "Fraud" and entered "Frod".

Or Scott, or Cummins, or Aulone, or etc.

Are they???

Or are you just drumming up Frod business as usual??

Get real, sunshine.

GM can make Navistar into a better outfit than Ford could.

GM seems to have the will to try out different vehicles than Ford, ie, Colorado/Canyon.

GM in my mind is more progressive from a business perspective than Frod.

Posted by: Big Al from Oz | Oct 4, 2015 9:23:50 PM

Search yourself big guy. The lawsuits are very active. Actually pretty common knowledge if you were even remotely active in the US this market. But you are not because these emissions diesel are US emissions designed. You are so biased it is comical.

The intl truck that is going to be replaced with this truck is a 19500 gvw Terrastar. Great cab and chass: 80,000 psi frame, allison, diamond logic, 8k fa, tilt hood, best visibility, best turn radius excluding isuzu, huge cab, flat frame, long wheel base (20' bodies), cab is shared with transtar, workstar, durastar, or the 4000, 7000 and 8000 series trucks. The problem with the Terrastar was the maxxforce 7 engine, especially in its first few years because of emission issues. The last 2 years have been much better. The Allison is great for pto use and true vocational usage. This is not a work truck monday through Friday and the truck you have date night in on saturday. It is for high hour use, heavy huals, dump bodys, service bodies, tanks , and large van bodies not pick up beds..... if gm keeps the cab and chassis, add a reliable diesel, navistar will do well. Plus buying a truck from a commercial dealership that is familiar with 26,000 and 33000 gvw work trucks will be useful for the purchaser. Most of your gm, ford and dodge dealers will talk about what it can tow, but they can't tell you when you need a CDL.

@ Big Al from Oz,
Kenworth Australia's best selling Truck is its Cabover. All the local Kenworth line is locally designed and built.
Freightliners , is the new Cabover Argosy,built in the US and the Western Star Conventional built in the US
Of the imported US Trucks, Western Star is their best performer

Navistar tried to stay with a dpf only non urea emission system. Did not work, starting in 2008 and until the model year 2012 engines went into there trucks the intl maxxforce engines were very problematic. A redesign in the ecm, sensor location, egr cooler and shafts made the engine much more reliable wa done in the 12 and 13 model year trucks.
Now the maxxforce 9, 10 , and 13 are called the n9, n10, and n13. Same engines with all the updates needed to make a dpf only truck work, plus they added Cummins aftertreatment urea/screen system. This cut down the amount of regens that they do by about 50 percent. The N13 is a tough, tough , reliable, fuel efficient, quiet engine.

On the medium duty end, International historically has been the company that dominates. Ftl copies, paccar has a fan base, volvo volmacks, western star and ftl are Mercedes euro trucks.

International has had majority of the market share until recently in medium duties, and will do it again.

I know they are.

If you actually know what you are on about, you'd known that the fallout between Navistar and Ford started prior to the lawsuit.

Navistar will do better under GM guidance, much better.

Robert Ryan,
I have noticed our trucks are larger than the US prime movers.

Even Mack, Kenworth, etc. They sit higher as well. The US prime movers look like low riders.

@Big Al from Oz
Yes they are larger. Europeans like Scania , Mercedes. DAF and Volvo you need a crane to get into the Cabs or not be afraid of Heights.
Still the Conventional s are pretty hard. To get into as well

AKA GM will rebadge the International Durastar.

AKA GM will rebadge the International Durastar.

The up to 19,500 pickup based Cab/Chassis Ram 4500/5500 and Ford F-450/F-550 are clearly the best option, vs the Navistar, Hino, Freightliner, etc, in the same class 4/5.

Being pickup based, they net a much bigger payload than the bigger commercial trucks with the same GVWR. They're easier to live with from a low pickup-cab and compact front clip. They easier to maneuver in parking lots, or just in traffic.

The gasoline V8 engine is an option the big trucks don't have either. Bummer. Or 4X4.

But its a also a great advantage of having most parts available, in every small, one-horse town, either in stock or overnight.

With pickup based, all the kinks have been worked out of the cab, including the electronics, by the millions on the road plus the focus of teams of engineers. This for extreme reliability, maximum driver comfort, ergonomics, etc. They can be optioned out SLTs/XLTs or Laramie/Lariat with crew cabs.

The pickup based F-450/F-550 is what killed the Kodiak and Top Kick. But GM will never learn. Ram 4500/5500 showed up right about the time of their funeral

The coil front end of the F-450/F-550 is something of a marvel. Jounce was eliminated with radically increased turning radius. Leaf springs limit cut-angle.

The pickup based cab/chassis in class 4/5 also creates an opportunity for upfitters to do custom pickup conversions of 4/5 class of trucks. Or simply a Silverado/Sierra 4500 HD pickup straight from GM. GM is blowing a great opportunity here.

But did I mention the availability of 4X4???

I believe it 2 as the International terrastar that actually did offer a 4x4 option. My dealer told me earlier this year that the Maxforce 7 and terristar was going away and the entry level truck was the durastars (the one we buy) it looks like they are still available and wonder if it has to do with the GM contract. I see the DT466 is not an engine option anymore. Replaced by the Cummins and N9. That base engine was a good engine but did need some major emissions and fuel system updates. I guess international does not have the funds right now to develop or buy what is necessary to keep the DT around. That engine and the T444E were a popular choice in the medium market.

Is it going to have a boxed frame or c-channel.

C channel is industry standard. It would make it hard for bodybuilders to go outside of that standard. Class 4 through 8 trucks all have C channel frames. At least the ones I am familiar with.

Is this going to be a badge engineered truck?
12 million in factory upgrades tells me that is all this is going to be.
New hires and extra cash will be just to ramp up production of "CornBinder" trucks and "GovMint Motors" trucks.


The 12 million is for the springfield plant?

I read that GM is going back to medium duty 4500 and 5500 because commercial customers told them that want that type of truck over what Ford and Ram offer for that class. The new Duramax will be out when these trucks are introduced and the weight ratings will blow away what Ford and Ram off because of the medium duty frames and axles.

The comments to this entry are closed.