Navistar International Corporation announced it intends to sign a lease agreement for a manufacturing facility in Northwest Alabama that would further enhance the company's manufacturing strategy.

The company plans to lease a plant in Barton, Ala., from The Retirement Systems of Alabama. It would be Navistar's third manufacturing plant in the state, and is close to the others. Navistar opened an engine plant in Huntsville in 2002, and established a second engine factory in 2008.

Navistar said Alabama has been a good place for the company to grow its business, the announcement said. It intends to maximize use of the facility's fabrication equipment and other assets to expand manufacturing capabilities and options in North America.

Local and state government agencies and officials were instrumental in arranging the deal, the Navistar announcement said. The company would take possession of the facility on January 1, 2012, and would retain the existing workforce and operations.

Navistar plans to finalize its initial operating and product plans for the factory in coming months, and expects to disclose those details by year's end. The company would be eligible to qualify for certain state and local incentives based on achieving certain employment levels and other requirements.