PHILADELPHIA — As Navistar continues to make progress putting the “dark days” of its failed EPA 2010 emissions strategy behind it, it will re-brand its product lineup as it rolls out new models starting next year.
In an interview during the American Trucking Associations’ annual Management Conference & Exhibition, Jeff Sass, senior vice president for truck sales and marketing, said he thinks truck sales overall next year will be good for International as well as for the industry overall.
Looking ahead to 2016 expectations, “I think it’s going to be strong,” said Sass, who joined Navistar about four months ago after a 20-year career at Paccar. “It probably won’t be as high [as 2015] in the on highway sector, maybe down 5%. The vocational sector will be flat to up a little bit and we feel medium-duty will be up.”
As far as International trucks specifically, Sass sees "nothing but upside” next year.
“We’ve gained a couple points of [market] share in medium this year, and we plan to gain a couple more points in medium next year. We think we’ll see an uptick in market share for our on highway product as well. and with the introduction of our new vocational product I think we’ll see growth there.”
The new vocational product, which will replace the PayStar, will be unveiled in February during the World of Concrete event in Las Vegas. It is scheduled to start rolling off the line in April, just in time for the construction season.
The “star” nomenclature will be retired in favor of a letter-and-number system. The vocational truck will be referred to as HX, followed by a 3 digit code signifying whether it’s long or short hood and set-forward or set-back axle.
Next up will be a replacement for the ProStar, which will be called the LT series. It’s scheduled to be introduced in a late summer time frame, and will feature the new configurations to meet 2017 greenhouse gas regulations.
The upcoming Class 4/5 product being co-developed with GM also will use the same naming style: CV, for commercial vehicle. The Chevrolet version will have some different styling and a different name.
Why the move to a different naming convention?
“It’s just time,” Sass explained. “We have a chance for rebranding and an opportunity to provide the customer with a new experience with Navistar in their International products.”
Watch for a full Q&A with Jeff Sass on Truckinginfo.com.