After years of having an obvious gap in its product mix, General Motors is stepping back into the market for large work trucks. The company has reached a supply deal with Navistar to develop and assemble a new line of medium-duty trucks.
The agreement, announced in late September, applies to Class 4 and Class 5 conventional-cab commercial trucks, which will offer GM customers “more choices and onestop shopping for a versatile line of trucks, vans and crossovers,” says Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM fleet and commercial sales.
The two companies will jointly develop the trucks, capitalizing on Navistar’s rolling chassis designs and GM’s commercial components and engines. Starting in 2018, the trucks will be built in Springfield, Ohio, after an investment of $12 million in plant upgrades and the addition of 300 new jobs.
“By working with an industryleading company like GM, we’ll be able to enhance our medium-duty product portfolio and leverage our scale and expertise in manufacturing,” adds Bill Kozek, president of truck and parts for Navistar.
Struggling with the economic aftermath of the crippling recession that began in 2008, GM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization and, in July 2009, exited the medium-duty truck business to focus on its car, pickup and sport-utility lines. It formerly sold medium-duty work trucks under the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC TopKick labels.
GM says it plans to launch the new truck under the Chevrolet brand name only.