Navistar CEO Says New Engine Will Drive Sales
Navistar International Corp. Chairman and CEO Lewis Campbell predicted the damage to the commercial truck marker’s share of the North American market will be short-lived, as Navistar moves away from a failed strategy for treating engine exhaust.
MarketWatch reported that Navistar’s average share of the heavy-duty truck market in the 12 months to the end of January was about 16.5%, down from about 21% in 2011, according to industry estimates. Campbell expects Navistar to regain the lost ground during 2014 with a revamped line of engines. Navistar, which builds recreational vehicles through its Navistar RV division, is the third-largest seller of heavy-duty trucks in North America behind Daimler AG’s Freightliner brand and Paccar Inc., maker of Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks.
Campbell anticipates the company’s 13-liter engines featuring an exhaust-treatment system built by Cummins Inc. will be a hit with buyers once the truck operators become familiar with the engines. The 13-liter engine is the centerpiece of the company’s large diesel engine lineup. Moreover, he said demand for Navistar’s International brand trucks should receive a boost from the completion of warranty-related engine repairs that have dogged heavy-duty trucks sold since 2010. Campbell said warranty claims this year will be significantly less than in 2012, adding that no new problems have been discovered.
“Once we get all those trucks converted, I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly we regain share,” Campbell said during an interview Tuesday (Feb. 19) with Dow Jones Newswires following the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting near Chicago.
Navistar is waiting for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to certify that the company’s 13-liter engines meet the agency’s latest standard for reducing smog-causing nitrogen oxide in diesel-engine exhaust. Navistar submitted its 13-liter engine for certification in early January. Campbell said the evaluation remains under way and reiterated his earlier forecasts that the certified engine could reach the market slightly ahead of schedule in late March.
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