When the winners of the advanced battery and electric drive sweepstakes were announced President Obama had occasion to give something of a congratulatory speech that included as a backdrop for the address, a familiar-looking truck with a Navistar logo plastered across the side. This, along with the mention of a $39.2 million award used to "develop, validate, and deploy 400 advanced battery electric delivery trucks (12,100 lbs. gross vehicle weight) with a 100-mile range," was proof that something was cooking between British electric truck builder Modec and Navistar. The soupe de surprise is still simmering on the stove but when it's done we expect to be served by the two heavy-duty vehicle chefs a meaty meal of a joint venture that will see Navistar-branded electric trucks being assembled in Indiana for the North, Central and South American markets.
Although final details won't be released until the JV-deal is completed, two press releases state that the firms intend to build several thousand trucks each year after the initial run of 400 in 2010. The plant, which Navistar picked up when it bought a bankrupt RV maker, should supply the Elkhart area with as many as 700 badly-needed jobs over the next year. No word yet on how much of the truck will originate from England or who will supply the batteries but we're told a final announcement should be made soon. Hit the jump for press releases from both companies as well as video of the presidential appearance.
[Source: Modec / Navistar]
President Obama Lauds Navistar for Advancing Clean Vehicle Technologies
All-Electric Commercial Vehicle Expected To Be the First To Market
WAKARUSA, Ind. (August 5, 2009) – Hundreds of Navistar employees today welcomed President Barack Obama to its Wakarusa, Ind., manufacturing facility to celebrate the award of a $39 million federal grant to develop and build all-electric delivery vehicles and bring jobs to the Elkhart County, Ind., communities.
Through this U.S. Department of Energy grant, Navistar intends to build 400 all-electric vehicles in 2010 and expects that within a couple of years to be producing several thousand vehicles annually. Navistar anticipates hiring additional workers immediately as it ramps up production of the all-electric delivery vehicle. As volumes increase and the market grows, the company estimates opportunities for several hundred more people in the Elkhart area. The grant application calls for the creation of up to 700 jobs, which includes Navistar employees and suppliers.
"The all-electric delivery vehicle is a concrete example of what business and government can do when we work together," said Dan Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The future is now with this electric vehicle. In fact, we already have interested customers, including some of the most respected names in the industry."
Navistar is in the process of finalizing a joint venture with Modec Ltd. of the United Kingdom to produce and sell electric Class 2c-3 commercial vehicles in North, Central and South America. This zero emission all-electric delivery vehicle would primarily be used by drivers for local deliveries where stop and go driving would otherwise consume a large amount of fuel.
Navistar has three manufacturing facilities in the area: the Monaco RV facility in Wakarusa, Ind., another facility recently purchased from Monaco in Elkhart City, Ind., and the Workhorse Custom Chassis facility in Union City, Ind.
"Navistar is keenly aware of our fiscal and social responsibilities as we stand here today in a facility that Navistar bought from a bankrupt entity," said Ustian. "Navistar believes in its people and products, and that is why the company is investing in the Elkhart area. We have already added jobs since we bought some of the assets of Monaco out of bankruptcy."
Earlier this year, Navistar purchased certain assets of the recreational vehicle (RV) manufacturing business of Monaco Coach Corporation, one of the nation's leading recreational vehicle manufacturers.
Navistar's commitment to innovation is embedded in its DNA. The company's foundations were laid in 1831 when Cyrus McCormick invented the mechanical reaper, creating a new industry, modern agriculture, which allowed farmers to expand America westward. The company's reputation for bringing new technologies to market has deep historical roots. The development of an all-electric commercial vehicle would be the latest in clean technologies for the truck and engine market that Navistar has been first to market with.
Hybrid School Bus and Truck and Military Vehicles on Display
Also on display for President Obama was the company's hybrid electric plug-in school bus, its hybrid International® DuraStar®, the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected® (MRAP) vehicle and the International® Husky Tactical Support Vehicle (TSV). Navistar was also the first to enter line production of commercial diesel hybrid trucks and school buses. In addition to hybrid-electric trucks and buses, the conventional line-up of International brand commercial trucks is among the most aerodynamic, fuel efficient in the industry.
Advancing Clean Diesel Technologies
For decades, Navistar has demonstrated a commitment to clean diesel technologies that benefit the environment and its customers. In 1989, Navistar was the first original equipment manufacturer to release the smokeless diesel engine and, in 2001, Navistar was the first engine manufacturer to gain certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for meeting particulate and hydrocarbon emissions standards – six years ahead of schedule.
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses, Monaco RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse® brand chassis for motor homes and step vans. It also is a private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. The company also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services.
COVENTRY, UK, 05.08.09 - Modec, the British manufacturer of world leading electric commercial vehicles, and Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV), the U.S.-based nearly $15bn truck manufacturer, are finalising a ground breaking Joint Venture.
United States President Barack Obama announced today a significant grant to stimulate electric vehicle manufacturing in the US. This broadcast took place at the Navistar premises in Elkhart County, Indiana. Navistar was awarded a grant of $39m, which will be used to accelerate electric vehicle production.
The deal would see a Navistar-Modec Joint Venture produce and sell electric Class 2c-3 commercial vehicles in North, Central and South America. The zero emission all-electric delivery vehicle would primarily be used for urban-suburban pickup and deliveries, which is the ideal application for this commercial electric van.
Modec vehicles, manufactured at the Coventry-based plant, are heralded as the future of urban transport and are designed from the ground up as an electric commercial vehicle. Modec vehicles are operated by high profile companies such as; Global couriers, FedEx and UPS as well as Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain.
The Joint Venture is a world first and symbolizes evolution in the automotive industry toward a zero emission future.
"The all-electric delivery vehicle is a concrete example of what business and government can do when we work together." said Daniel C. Ustian, Navistar Chairman, President, and CEO. "The future is now with this electric vehicle. In fact, we already have interested customers, including some of the most respected names in the industry."
Navistar chose to partner with Modec due to purpose-built concept and superior performance of its vehicles.
"Modec is delighted to be finalising a Joint Venture with Navistar," said Bill Gillespie, Chief Executive of Modec. "The positive impact on Modec and the electric vehicle world will be significant and this is a true sign of evolution in the automotive industry."
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses, Monaco RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse® brand chassis for motor homes and step vans. It also is a private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. The company also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com/newsroom.
Modec is one of the world's leading electric vehicle manufacturers. The UK company was formed in 2004, commenced production in 2007 and has already expanded to seven countries. Modec boasts a phenomenal wealth of automotive and electrical expertise and produces the world's first electrical vehicle in its class.
About the Modec vehicle
Modec is a revolutionary commercial electric vehicle, designed from the ground up for operation in urban environments. As well as zero tailpipe emissions, the distinctive appearance clearly demonstrates the vehicle is environmentally friendly. Modec vehicles are 'future proof' thanks to being designed around a large, removable battery pack, which means the vehicle can evolve as quickly as battery technology develops.