Navistar to launch medium-duty program

Jack Roberts | September 10, 2010

Navistar International this fall will mount a medium-duty truck “boot camp” in seven key cities across the country to educate almost 1,000 Navistar dealer sales representatives on the finer points of working with buyers who aren’t in the truck business.

“We’re talking about buyers who don’t factor truck purchases into their yearly budgets,” said Jim Hebe, senior vice president of North American sales operations. “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.”

The boot camp tour is part of the company’s plan to increase its medium-duty market share to 50 percent from a company-estimated 36 percent in the next couple years.

To meet that goal, Hebe told dealers and sales representatives at a recent Denver meeting they would have to be quicker and more creative than their competitors. To support them, Navistar is giving its dealers products to compete in the medium-duty market. Products include a new 300 hp MaxxForce 7 V8 diesel engine with 660 lb.-ft. of torque and the new TerraStar Class 4 and 5 vocational trucks that will begin appearing on Navistar dealer lots this fall.

In addition, a new natural-gas engine based on Navistar’s DT-7 V8 diesel will be launched next year in WorkStar vocational trucks. “We build this engine ourselves,” Hebe added.