Equipment

Paccar: No Merger Talks with VW

July 31, 2014

By Deborah Lockridge

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In early July, a top Daimler Trucks official told reporters that fellow German company Volkswagen would make a bid to buy American truck maker Paccar. VW denied the rumor at the time, and now Paccar has responded as well.

On July 3, Reuters reported that Wolfgang Bernhard, chief of Daimler Trucks, told analysts at Bernstein Research that "serious, multiple sources" told him VW wll make a bid for Paccar next year.

However, a few hours later the news service reported that Volkswagen strenuously denied those rumors, calling them "complete rubbish."

Paccar did not respond to HDT request for comment. However, the Wall Street Journal this week reports that Paccar CEO Ron Armstrong dismissed rumors that Paccar, which makes Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks in the U.S. and owns the DAF brand abroad, is engaged in merger talks with Volkswagen AG.

"There have been no discussions with Volkswagen," Armstrong said during a conference call Tuesday with analysts, reported the WSJ. "We've got a great team. The company continues to focus on running the business day in and day out."

In addition, the paper notes, analysts say DAF's truck brand in Europe would give VW too large of a market share for EU antitrust regulators to sign off on such a merger.

Which brings speculation of VW's future truck expansion goals into North America back around to Navistar, which has more than once been rumored to be a purchase target of the German automaker.

Alan Bunting, a writer for Automotive World, wrote last week that "For the first time ... Troy Clarke, chief executive of truck and bus manufacturer Navistar, has indicated that the corporation 'could be purchased by another company,' adding that there are 'half a dozen folks' on the world stage who might be interested in purchasing a reinvigorated Navistar."

Bunting said Clarke made the remarks while speaking to a group of truck industry editors in Washington DC on July 9.

"In reality, the list must be even shorter than six," Bunting writes. "Top of that list must be Volkswagen, currently unrepresented in Navistar's primary North American market, but with declared aspirations for its collective Scania, MAN and VW brands to rival Daimler in global heavy-duty market share."

For that to happen, VW would have to take on Daimler Trucks North America, Bunting pointed out.

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