The International Trucks brand may become an integral part of a global truck manufacturing group, after Traton launched a new bid to buy Navistar, offering US$35 a share, to value the Chicago-based truck maker at US$3.5 billion.
Traton, a group which includes Scania, MAN and Volkswagen Trucks in South America, bought a 16.76 per cent share in the US truck maker back in 2016, sparking rumours of an imminent takeover at that time. However, the Traton group has been quiet on the matter since then, apparently, keeping its powder dry.
After receiving the bid from Traton, Navistar has said the company will review the bid, while telling shareholders no vote on a bid is planned at this time. A company statement declared, “Navistar does not intend to make any additional comments regarding the proposal unless and until it is appropriate to do so or a formal agreement has been reached.”
Traton is lead by Andreas Renschler, who was the man in charge at Daimler Trucks when the company brought together Mercedes Benz, Freightliner and Fuso into a global conglomerate and started the process of using global components like engines, transmissions and electronics to spread research and development costs across all of the major markets.
This move by Traton looks likely to follow a similar path, allowing the Traton/Navistar entity to use it expertise across most of the major truck markets of the world. Many of the engines fitted currently into International trucks in North America are derived from basic MAN designs, which have been adapted and re-engineered to suit the US market.
Also, Navistar announced its intention last year to start selling Scania heavy duty mining trucks in the North American market under license and a Scania XT truck was on the International display stand at the 2019 Atlanta Truck Show.
If this new bid to buy Navistar is successful, and many business commentators in the US suggest Navistar should take the money, Traton will have a global presence, missing just the Japanese market. There was some speculation about some form of deal between Volkswagen and Isuzu in the past. However, Isuzu’s recent deal with the Volvo Group, taking over UD Trucks, suggests Traton’s ambitions may stop at Navistar.