Navistar, the leading manufacturer of commercial trucks, buses, defence vehicles and diesel engines, has reached an agreement with General Motors (GM) to manufacture the cutaway model of GM’s G Van at its Springfield, Ohio plant.
Navistar said the multi-year manufacturing contract, which commences in early 2017, will generate at least 300 jobs and recommission its second line at the plant.
“We’re very pleased to partner with GM on this important manufacturing opportunity,” said Persio Lisboa, president, Navistar operations.
“Our Springfield plant is an important part of our manufacturing footprint, and we’ve been preparing it for a higher volume concentration of light- and medium-duty products as part of our manufacturing strategy. This is an important step towards our goal to drive automotive quality into the commercial vehicle industry.”
GM manufactures cutaway vans for commercial customers. The company’s Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans are upfitted into utility or service vehicles, ambulance or rescue vehicles, shuttle buses or school buses.
“This partnership will provide our Wentzville, Mo., assembly plant more flexibility to keep up with continued demand for mid-size trucks and full size vans,” said Cathy Clegg, GM North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations Vice President.
Navistar, which primarily manufactures its DuraStar® and WorkStar® models at the Springfield plant, last year signed a separate long-term agreement with GM to develop and assemble a medium-duty, conventional cab Class 4/5 commercial vehicle starting in 2018.
According to the company, the future products will be “jointly developed” using Navistar’s expertise in rolling chassis configurations and manufacturing capabilities, and GM’s commercial components and engines.
“The trucks will be available under both the International® and Chevrolet brands, and will mark Navistar’s reentry into the Class 4/5 market,” the company said in a media statement.