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Navistar showcases product strategy at MATS

Navistar’s Jim Hebe Navistar discusses the company's breadth of natural gas solutions for the transportation industry.

The Trucker News Services

3/22/2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — This week at the Mid-America Trucking Show here, Navistar Inc. hosted its Global Summit and Exposition to showcase the company’s global product offerings and its customer-focused technologies.

“We’ve brought to life our company’s ‘1+2+3’ global product strategy and what it means for our customers by leveraging one common chassis, two cab structures and utilizing one of our three powertrain platforms,” said Dan Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and chief executive officer. “In addition, from the launch of our new state-of-the-art LCOE International LoadStar to our recent announcements on our natural gas strategy, we have brought to market and continue to introduce the most customer-focused technologies that drive convenience and lower costs for our customer’s bottom line.”

“1+2+3” global product strategy

Core to Navistar’s product development innovation is its “1+2+3” product strategy. To achieve scale, commonality and simplicity for the vehicles Navistar builds all over the world, the company leverages common platforms across primary vehicle components. Navistar starts with ‘one’ common chassis architecture. Built on that chassis is one of ‘two’ core cab architectures—an aerodynamic cab and a cab-over engine cab. Powering these vehicles (either cab-over or aerodynamic cab) is one of three distinct powertrain platforms—its vee engine platform, inline engine platform, and its big bore engine platform.

“From medium trucks to heavy trucks, from 2.8-liter engines on up to 15-liter engines, cab-over trucks to aero-nose trucks, Navistar has global expertise in a comprehensive portfolio of products,” Ustian added. “We have an array of truck and engine designs to serve the transportation industry in the geographies we serve today and innovative technologies for tomorrow as we continue to expand to emerging markets around the world.”

Next steps with natural gas

Navistar also showcased its breadth of natural gas solutions for the transportation industry. Navistar will leverage its existing commercial truck and engine platforms to offer the broadest portfolio of integrated products for the natural gas market. The company will continue to offer International DuraStar® and WorkStar® vocational trucks with its natural gas powered MaxxForce® DT, developed in conjunction with Emissions Solutions Incorporated (ESI) of McKinney.

To meet the growing demands of the regional haul and class 7/8 vocational market Navistar will offer the Cummins-Westport ISL-G, in the International® TranStar and WorkStar. Additionally, Navistar will enter into a phase II developmental agreement with Clean Air Power Ltd. on the International ProStar, WorkStar and PayStar vocational trucks, powered by a diesel pilot injection LNG MaxxForce 13-liter engine.

“One of the major obstacles in customer transition to natural gas has been the lack of a gas powered range of engines designed to meet the multiple requirements without compromise,” said Jim Hebe, Navistar senior vice president, North America Sales Operations. “Navistar — with its extended range of truck engines — is uniquely able to leverage engine platforms into the industry’s broadest range of natural gas trucks. When the MaxxForce 13L is introduced in mid-2013, customers will have a capable range of natural engines and trucks, from 7.6 liter to 13 liter with horsepower ranging from 200 to 450.”    Beyond its product offerings, last month, Navistar announced a natural gas fuel distribution agreement with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE), the leading provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America.

Clean Energy recently unveiled a route plan for the first phase of 150 new liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations for America’s Natural Gas Highway (ANGH). The company has identified 98 locations and anticipates having 70 stations open by the end of 2012 in 33 states.

Many of the fueling stations will be co-located at Pilot-Flying J Travel Centers already serving goods movement trucking through an exclusive agreement with Pilot to build, own and operate natural gas fueling facilities at agreed-upon travel centers. Pilot-Flying J is the nation's largest truck-stop operator with more than 550 retail properties in 47 states.

“Natural gas has clearly emerged as the most realistic alternative fuel option for the trucking industry and we’re excited to work with a leader like Chesapeake Energy to bring natural gas to our customers,” Ustian added. “This collaborative effort will benefit the transportation industry by creating product innovations and breakthroughs in natural gas technology and will help accelerate natural gas acceptance and growth.”

MaxxForce 13 up for EPA certification

Navistar recently submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for certification its 0.20g NOx MaxxForce 13 big bore diesel engine. Once certified, Navistar will be the only engine manufacturer in the world to achieve urea-free 0.20g NOx emissions through in-cylinder technologies. During the certification process, Navistar is making preparations for launch of that engine this summer.

“In a little more than three years since our MaxxForce big bore engines were first introduced to the market, we’ve challenged convention in this industry and proven to our customers the benefits of our lightweight, fuel efficient and urea-free MaxxForce 13 — growing our share of the big bore market to more than 20 percent today,” Ustian said. “Upon certification from the EPA and our full launch of our urea-free MaxxForce 13 at 0.20g NOx, we will have achieved precisely what we set out to do — provide customers with a no-hassle solution that keeps responsibility for emissions compliance with the manufacturer — not the vehicle owner or driver.”

Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at kevinj@thetrucker.com.

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