Navistar International announced it is increasing its production rates at its heavy truck assembly plant in Escobedo, Mexico, as well as its bus assembly plant in Tulsa, Okla.

"Clearly, we're seeing some positive trends in the industry, but more importantly, we're seeing good customer response to our product offerings in the market," said Jack Allen, Navistar chief operating officer. "As a result, we're increasing our second-half production rates at two of our vehicle manufacturing operations."

Allen said the company's order backlog is 80% higher than this time last year.

In the second half of the year, the Escobedo heavy truck plant will increase its average daily production rate by about 24%. The company's truck assembly plant in Springfield, Ohio, will maintain its current production rate as several facility upgrades are completed and lean manufacturing principles are implemented to drive long-term efficiency and product quality improvements.

The Tulsa bus plant will increase its average daily production rate by about 17% over the first half rate while

Allen noted that Navistar is seeing "strong interest" from customers for the Cummins ISB engine recently made available in its medium-duty trucks and school buses.

"And, there's great anticipation for our vocational truck products powered by our 9-liter and 10-liter engines that will launch this summer with SCR emissions technology."