Caterpillar, Navistar begin next phase of global truck alliance JV for on-highway, vocational trucks

Tina Grady Barbaccia

September 29, 2011

Cat CT 660 vocational truck
Cat CT 660 vocational trucks at an editor Ride-and-Drive event Sept. 26-27. Editors from Aggregates Manager, Better Roads, and these magazine's sister trucking publications attended the special press event

Caterpillar Inc. and Navistar International Corp. are moving forward with the next phase of cooperation between the two companies to develop, manufacture, sell, and support vocational and on-highway trucks for both the North American market and worldwide.

The plans were publicly announced on Sept. 29.

In June of 2008, the two companies announced plans to form an alliance for the on-highway truck business. This led to the creation of a 50/50 joint venture known as NC2 Global LLC.

NC2 is focused on the development of on-highway trucks for markets outside of North America, including current truck offerings in Australia, South Africa, and Brazil. The two companies also have an agreement to produce Cat heavy-duty vocational trucks for North America.

The Cat CT660 vocational truck was officially unveiled at CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2011, held in March in Las Vegas. Customer deliveries of the trucks have recently started, Cat said.

Now Caterpillar and Navistar say they are moving to the next stage in the relationship, with continued focus on customers around the world. Building on the success of the companies’ strategic relationship to produce Cat heavy-duty vocational trucks for North America, the companies will restructure certain aspects of NC2.

Under the terms of this new relationship, NC2 will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Navistar, and, through a new brand licensing agreement, both International and Caterpillar branded trucks will continue to be distributed through both International and Caterpillar dealers outside of the United States.

“This next phase will move the relationship to a structure and business model that will be similar to the business relationship we have with Navistar for our North American vocational trucks,” said George Taylor, director of Caterpillar’s Global On-Highway Truck Group. “As we have looked at the success of the Cat vocational truck launch in North America, we believe that a similar business model for commercial trucks for the rest of the world makes the most sense for our customers.”

In addition to the current CT660 vocational trucks that are being produced for customers in North America, Caterpillar and Navistar have also signed a new, nonbinding memorandum of understanding to develop a new, cab-over-engine Cat vocational truck that would be sold globally.

The companies will finalize the terms of this new business in the coming months.

“This new relationship streamlines the organization and will help us move faster and more efficiently,” said Phil Christman, president of NC2. “Customers and dealers in the global markets where NC2 has established distribution will build on their early successes with no interruption and with the added benefit of getting products sooner.”

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