NC2 Global LLC, the global joint venture between Caterpillar and Navistar International, has launched operations in Brazil, where it will assemble and distribute commercial trucks under both the International and Cat brands.

The company will invest approximately $200 million in Brasil for purchases of equipment; research and development of new technologies; and the hiring and training of employees. Additional investment for construction of new assembly plant will be the subject of a future announcement.

"We're delighted to be entering the Brazilian market, which is one of our priority markets worldwide and will be the center of our future distribution efforts in the Mercosur," said Al Saltiel, NC2 president. "We have already begun investing in long-term expansion projects in Brasil, which will include domestic production of trucks this year and launching an all-new, state-of-the-art cabover platform in 2012."

For short-term production, NC2 has assumed responsibility for the current Navistar operation in Caxias do Sul (RS), which has an agreement to develop and produce trucks with NC2 technology in one of the industrial units of Agrale, a Brasilian truck and tractor maker. NC2 will invest $10 million in expanding the assembly line at this existing plant, with plans to create 150 jobs in the plant by 2011.

Headquartered globally in Lisle, Ill., NC2 is prioritizing several high-potential markets around the world, including Brazil, South Africa, Australia and China.

Trucks manufactured by NC2 will be distributed in Brasil through two dealer networks supporting the International and Cat brands. The company plans to have a total of over 60 outlets in place by 2015. The newly established and rapidly growing International network already has five operating locations and will have a total of 10 by year-end.