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Caterpillar’s vocational trucks can be configured as a haul truck.
Caterpillar’s vocational trucks can be configured as a haul truck.

Global truck supplier to manufacture own line

One of two companies involved in a major global truck manufacturing partnership has announced it will produce its own independent line of vocational trucks.

In June 2008, US-based companies Caterpillar and Navistar formed an alliance for the on-highway truck business, which led to the creation of a 50-50 joint venture called NC2 Global. NC2 Global focused on the development of on-highway trucks – which could be configured as dump trucks, concrete mixers, waste carriers or heavy haulers – for markets outside of North America, including Australia.

The two companies also had an agreement to produce Cat heavy-duty vocational trucks for North America. Navistar was involved in the design and build of Caterpillar’s first vocational truck, the CT660, in 2011, as well as the subsequent CT680 and CT681 models. However, Caterpillar announced last month that it would start independently designing and manufacturing its own vocational truck product family at its plant in Texas.

Commenting on the new strategy, Chris Chadwick, Caterpillar’s director of the Global On-Highway Truck Group, said, “We appreciate the collaboration we have had with Navistar. As we look to future launches of new truck models, this updated strategy will better position us to help provide our customers with the best products and services for this market.”

Although Caterpillar expects to begin production on the new line in the first half of 2016, Navistar will continue to manufacture trucks for the company until 31 December, 2016.

Local impact

Navistar Auspac, the local manufacturer of Caterpillar’s on-highway trucks that was formerly known as NC2 Global Australia, emphasised that the international development would have no impact on the supply of Cat trucks in the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific markets, due to the fact that the vocational truck range had never been introduced to these regions.

“The Cat-branded trucks supplied to Australian, New Zealand and Pacific markets are completely different models to the Cat vocational range, which is a uniquely Caterpillar product,” Navistar Auspac director of sales, marketing and business development Glen Sharman said.

He explained that the Cat trucks offered in these regions – which include the CT630S, CT630SC and the most recent CT630HD – had been developed specifically for the local on-highway markets.

“Cat trucks are a valuable and ongoing part of Navistar Auspac’s plans for today and tomorrow, and any assumptions or speculation otherwise are completely mistaken,” he stated. “There is no question that Cat Trucks will continue to grow in the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific markets.”

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