Navistar, Caterpillar formalize global truck joint venture

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Navistar International Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. announced Thursday, Sept. 10, the closing of a joint venture transaction resulting in a new company, NC2 Global LLC, to serve the global commercial truck market. Navistar and Caterpillar first announced plans to form a joint venture in June 2008 and have identified the leadership team of the new entity that will establish its headquarters in the Chicago area.

“Together, Navistar and Caterpillar have moved this project from concept to reality in little more than one year,” says Al Saltiel, president of NC2. “We now have a dedicated and experienced leadership team that will hit the ground running.”

As previously announced, the 50/50 joint venture will develop, manufacture and distribute commercial trucks, with an initial focus on markets including Australia, Brazil, China, Russia, South Africa and Turkey. NC2’s product line will feature both conventional and cabover truck designs and will be sold under both the CAT and International (Navistar) brands.

Separately, Navistar and Caterpillar continue to work on design and development of a new proprietary purpose-built heavy-duty CAT vocational truck for the North American market. The trucks, manufactured in Navistar’s facility in Garland, Texas, will be sold and serviced through the CAT North American Dealer network. Caterpillar vocational trucks are scheduled for full production in mid-2011.

Saltiel brings a wide range of global distribution and marketing experience to NC2. As vice president of marketing and head of Navistar’s marketing efforts since 2004, Saltiel was responsible for all brand, product and pricing strategy. Prior to joining Navistar, he held key senior marketing positions at Sony Electronics, Jaguar and Ford’s Premier Automotive Group.

Bob Iacullo has been named chief financial officer for NC2. Formerly business resource manager for Caterpillar’s Infrastructure Product Development Division, Iacullo also held several executive positions in finance at Motorola.

Navistar and Caterpillar also have named key business unit directors for product development, sales and marketing, dealer operations, production, supply chain, and parts and service.

“NC2 will produce and market a full line of commercial on-highway trucks for markets outside of North America,” Saltiel says. “Customers will benefit from the unparalleled depth and scope of support provided by Navistar and Caterpillar’s global dealers.”

Navistar and Caterpillar each have named three people to NC2’s board of directors. Caterpillar Group President Doug Oberhelman will serve as board chairman, and Navistar Truck Group President Dee Kapur has been named lead director from Navistar.

“The formation of this joint venture represents a long-term strategic decision,” Oberhelman says. “Despite the current challenges facing the global economy, both Caterpillar and Navistar are dedicating the right people and investing significant resources to ensure NC2’s long-term success in the global on-highway truck market.”