Fontaine returns to a facility it operated in Springfield for more than 20 years until 2011, when Navistar announced it was shifting production from Ohio to Texas and Mexico.
Fontaine's decision to reopen its Springfield facility was driven by Navistar's Oct. 30 announcement that it will close its Garland, Texas, truck manufacturing operation early in 2013, and shift all production to both Springfield, Ohio, and Escobedo, Mexico.
The modification center is located near Navistar's Springfield truck manufacturing facility. Fontaine's present ship-thru arrangements with Navistar will continue in Springfield.
"Reopening our Springfield modification center will provide us with increased access to new Navistar trucks," says Will Trantham, president of Fontaine Modification. "We will also consolidate all of our Navistar truck steering conversions, including stand-up right drive and sit-down dual drive, at the Springfield modification center, similar to what we had done in Garland, Texas. We have found that consolidating these more complex modifications into a single center results in increased quality and reduced vehicle dwell time."
Production at the Springfield modification center will begin in December.
In addition to the Springfield operation, Fontaine continues to support both Navistar and Freightliner post-production needs for dealers and fleets out of its Laredo, Texas, facility for trucks produced in Mexico.
The decision of how to proceed in Garland, Texas, will be determined in the first quarter of 2013.