Mack officials confirmed at a press conference at the Mid-America Trucking Show today that parent company Renault has made a formal offer to purchase what is reported to be about a 35% stake in Japan’s Nissan, including its Nissan Diesel truck operations.
According to published reports, a deal is expected to be announced tomorrow between Renault and the financially struggling Nissan. Industry analysts, who believe Nissan will accept the offer, believe it calls for about a $5 billion investment in Nissan Motors and another $5 million in Nissan Diesel and other areas.
The impact on Mack Trucks at this point is difficult to say. Mack officials say if the deal goes through as expected, they won’t waste any time talking to Nissan about ways to work together. With the vast differences between North American and Asian heavy truck products, cooperation is likely to involve shared components.
The deal would create the fourth largest auto/truck company in the world. “We recognize the need to become a bigger player in the world,” said Mack’s Paul Vikner.
Meanwhile, Mack is displaying nothing but its new Vision at the Mid-America Trucking Show, going on in Louisville, KY, through Saturday. Although Vikner assured the press that Mack is still very much committed to the vocational market (there are no Visions on display at the huge ConExpo show this week in Las Vegas), “we wanted to make a very strong statement at a highway-oriented show that we are very much in this marketplace.”
Vikner says unlike some company’s new truck introductions, as the new trucks are being unveiled to the public here, Visions are on their way to Mack dealerships in major markets around the country.
To help meet expected demand for the new regional on-highway aerodynamic trucks, a second shift is being added at Mack’s Winnsboro, SC, plant. Mack expects to build 38,000 to 39,000 trucks this year. Mack officials also expect Class 8 truck sales this year to set another record at 225,000 in the United States.