Equipment

Navistar recommits to medium-duty market

Company’s ‘laser-like’ focus includes sales ‘Boot Camp’


As anyone in the truck industry knows, the race to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 diesel engine emissions regulations has been an all-consuming and contentious one for truck and engine manufacturers. And according to Jim Hebe, senior vice president of North American sales operations, the emissions battle has had unwanted consequences for Navistar, causing the company to take its eye off a market segment Hebe says it created and has owned since 1906: Medium-duty vocational trucks. And that’s a trend the company is determined to reverse.

Navistar’s Boot Camp tour will educate almost 1,000 key dealer sales representatives on the finer points of working with medium-duty buyers.Navistar’s Boot Camp tour will educate almost 1,000 key dealer sales representatives on the finer points of working with medium-duty buyers.

But Navistar won’t simply be reaffirming its commitment to the medium-duty market. Hebe is calling for an all-out assault on Class 4, 5 and 6 truck markets. The goal, Hebe announced, is for Navistar – which currently holds a 36 percent share of the medium-duty market, according to internal measurements – to reach 50 percent within the next couple of years. In order to reach this goal, Navistar has extended the military theme down to a Medium-Duty “Boot Camp” the company is hosting in seven key cities across the country this fall.

The Boot Camp tour will educate almost 1,000 key Navistar dealer sales representatives on the finer points of working with buyers who, in Hebe’s words, “are not necessarily truck people.” Boot Camp participants were issued a thick three-ring binder complemented by in-depth presentations with a “laser-like” focus on a wide array of topics, including new insights into Navistar and competitive products as well as service and support after the sale. “We’re talking about buyers who don’t factor truck purchases into their yearly budgets,” Hebe notes. “They drive trucks until they die. And when they decide they absolutely have to purchase a new one, they’re going to make that decision in 48 hours, and they’re going to give a dealership three weeks – at most – to deliver that truck to them.”

To reach its goal, Navistar comes to market with a new 300 hp MaxxForce 7 V8 diesel engine with 660 lb.-ft. of torque, the new TerraStar Class 4 and 5 vocational trucks that will begin appearing on Navistar dealer lots this fall, and the DuraStar. In addition, a new natural-gas engine based on Navistar’s DT-7 V8 diesel will be launched next year in WorkStar vocational trucks.

In other company news, Navistar announced its move to Lisle, Ill., and credited Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan with clearing a path for the company to retain or create nearly 3,000 permanent jobs over the next several years along with more than 400 construction jobs.

As part of a $205 million effort, the company will invest $110 million in the 1.2 million-square-foot Lisle headquarters, which will include executive management, business operations and product development. Core features of the technology center once envisioned for the Lisle campus will move, and another roughly $15 million will be invested in a new parts facility in the Northern Illinois area. – Jack Roberts


 



IN BRIEF

* Commercial Vehicle Group entered into an agreement with Daimler Trucks North America through 2014 to provide products for DTNA’s manufacturing facilities in Saltillo and Santiago, Mexico, and three facilities in the United States. CVG will open a new facility near Saltillo.

* SelecTrucks extended its Down Payment Match promotion through Dec. 31. The used truck retailer will match up to $2,500 of a small fleet’s or owner-operator’s down payment.

* Mack Trucks Inc. and Decisiv integrated MVASIST – a Web-based system that lets fleet managers and service providers work together in real time to expedite repairs and maximize uptime – with the Mack OneCall Complete Care customer support network, designed to provide customers with fast, reliable 24/7 access to trained technicians.

* Mitchell 1 updated its Web-based service information programs – including Repair-Connect.net, Tractor-Trailer.net and Medium-Truck.net – to include diagnostic and service information for 2009 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

* Great Dane’s AdvantEdge national account parts and service program now is open for fleet customer enrollments after a pilot launch. The program connects customers to Great Dane’s nationwide branch and dealer network throughout the United States and Canada.

* Shell Lubricants introduced a revamped Shell Rotella heavy-duty engine antifreeze/coolant product portfolio led by Shell Rotella Ultra ELC, an extended-life antifreeze/coolant for use in heavy-duty diesel, gasoline and natural gas-powered engines.



Navistar moving to Lisle, Ill.

As anyone in the truck industry knows, the race to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 diesel engine emissions regulations has been an all-consuming and contentious one for truck and engine manufacturers. And according to Jim Hebe, senior vice president of North American sales operations, the emissions battle has had unwanted consequences for Navistar, causing the company to take its eye off a market segment Hebe says it created and has owned since 1906: Medium-duty vocational trucks. And that’s a trend the company is determined to reverse.

But Navistar won’t simply be reaffirming its commitment to the medium-duty market. Hebe is calling for an all-out assault on Class 4, 5 and 6 truck markets. The goal, Hebe announced, is for Navistar – which currently holds a 36 percent share of the medium-duty market, according to internal measurements – to reach 50 percent within the next couple of years. In order to reach this goal, Navistar has extended the military theme down to a Medium-Duty “Boot Camp” the company is hosting in seven key cities across the country this fall.

The Boot Camp tour will educate almost 1,000 key Navistar dealer sales representatives on the finer points of working with buyers who, in Hebe’s words, “are not necessarily truck people.” Boot Camp participants were issued a thick three-ring binder complemented by in-depth presentations with a “laser-like” focus on a wide array of topics, including new insights into Navistar and competitive products as well as service and support after the sale. “We’re talking about buyers who don’t factor truck purchases into their yearly budgets,” Hebe notes. “They drive trucks until they die. And when they decide they absolutely have to purchase a new one, they’re going to make that decision in 48 hours, and they’re going to give a dealership three weeks – at most – to deliver that truck to them.”

To reach its goal, Navistar comes to market with a new 300 hp MaxxForce 7 V8 diesel engine with 660 lb.-ft. of torque, the new TerraStar Class 4 and 5 vocational trucks that will begin appearing on Navistar dealer lots this fall, and the DuraStar. In addition, a new natural-gas engine based on Navistar’s DT-7 V8 diesel will be launched next year in WorkStar vocational trucks.

In other company news, Navistar announced its move to Lisle, Ill., and credited Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan with clearing a path for the company to retain or create nearly 3,000 permanent jobs over the next several years along with more than 400 construction jobs.

As part of a $205 million effort, the company will invest $110 million in the 1.2 million-square-foot Lisle headquarters, which will include executive management, business operations and product development. Core features of the technology center once envisioned for the Lisle campus will move, and another roughly $15 million will be invested in a new parts facility in the Northern Illinois area. – Jack Roberts


 

Half of heavy-duty owners report engine problems in 2010

Following two rounds of revisions in emissions standards since 2004, problem rates for heavy-duty truck engines in 2010 are nearly twice as high, on average, as rates for engines manufactured prior to these emissions changes, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Heavy-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission StudyEngine Light Untitled 1.

The study finds that 51 percent of owners of one-year-old heavy-duty truck engines in 2010 report experiencing some type of problem. However, prior to the changes in emissions standards that were implemented in 2004 and 2007, only 26 percent of owners of two-year-old truck engines experienced some type of problem.

“The emissions requirements have put a burden on engine manufacturers, and the result is that today’s engines – although environmentally improved – are more problematic,” says Todd Markusic, senior director of the commercial vehicle practice at J.D. Power. “Given the quality issues that arose from the last emissions standards redesign in 2007, the new emissions standards in 2010 will no doubt create another challenge for engine manufacturers, but those that best handle the integration of these new standards will have a competitive advantage.”

The study also finds that the number of engine problems increases by 55 percent, on average, after 50,000 miles of usage – up to 80.5 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) from 51.9 PP100. As a result, satisfaction with engines decreases by nearly 40 points (on a 1,000-point scale) after 50,000 miles. The most-commonly reported engine problems are issues with electronic control module calibration (cited by 14 percent of owners) and the exhaust gas recirculation valve (13 percent).

The 2010 U.S. Heavy-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission Study, which measures customer satisfaction with engines and transmissions in one-year-old Class 8 trucks, was based on the responses of 1,682 primary maintainers of one model-year-old Class 8 trucks and was fielded in February and March.



Peterbilt ramps up MX training

Production of Paccar’s new 12.9-liter MX engine has begun at the company’s new plant in Columbus, Miss., and Peterbilt trucks are being built with the engine. Peterbilt has more than 1,500 certified techs working at 674 dealers to handle the new engine business, says Todd Acker, director of marketing planning and communications. Dealer technicians and sales personnel have been training at the Peterbilt plant in Denton, Texas.

Peterbilt brought trucking journalists to its plant in Denton, Texas, to sample more than three hours of hands-on Paccar MX engine teardowns.Peterbilt brought trucking journalists to its plant in Denton, Texas, to sample more than three hours of hands-on Paccar MX engine teardowns.

The inline six-cylinder MX produces 1,750-rpm peak torque and 380 to 485 hp. Among its features are a compacted graphite iron engine block, integrated engine brake, a rear engine gear train, variable geometry turbo and a unit pump-injection system.

The MX is designed for changing oil and oil filters every 40,000 miles and valve maintenance every 160,000 miles to minimize downtime, says Kelly Bender, training manager.




Kenworth highlights vinyl wrap prototype at GATS

Kenworth Truck Co. featured a colorful vinyl wrap prototype on its new T700 with a 2010 Paccar MX engine at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. Developed in conjunction with Sirlin Enterprises, the prototype wrap was shown to customers visiting the Kenworth booth during the show.

Kenworth’s vinyl wraps are designed to provide a distinctive and eye-grabbing upgrade, and each design will be available with a large number of solid paint colors.Kenworth’s vinyl wraps are designed to provide a distinctive and eye-grabbing upgrade, and each design will be available with a large number of solid paint colors.

The company plans to launch the Kenworth Wrap Program in the near future. “We wanted to show customers a new unique way of spec’ing their Kenworths to further emphasize their commitment and passion,” says Judy McTigue, Kenworth director of marketing planning and research.

Kenworth says the colorful wraps will provide a distinctive and eye-grabbing upgrade, and that each design will be available with a large number of solid paint colors. The Kenworth wraps are expected to cover three different levels of detail, offer durability and cost less than paint.






Schlecht named TMC 2010 SuperTech champion

Jeffrey Schlecht, a technician for Freightliner dealer Omaha Truck Center in Norfolk, Neb., took top honors in the Technology & Maintenance Council’s annual SuperTech technician challenge. The 27-year old Schlecht – who credits his father, a retired heavy-duty truck technician, and an early love of motorcycles with leading him into a maintenance career – competed against technicians from across the country and maintained a consistent performance in all stages of the competition.

Technicians competed in an array of challenges, including fifth wheel, engine electronics, brakes, suspension and powertrain diagnostics and repair, as well as written exams and paperwork simulations designed to showcase proper repair documentation skills. Schlecht’s win was all the more notable as he was a first-time SuperTech competitor.

Schlecht also took home an array of prizes, including an all-expenses-paid trip for two to next year’s Daytona 500, a Snap-on Tool Box, a year’s subscription to Mitchell-1’s Repair-Connect.net valued at $900, Car Quest’s Heavy Duty Scan Kit valued at $1,700, and a Reliance Dream Shop from Reliance Supply valued at $3,500. n