Visiting Navistar (guest blogger)

Visiting Navistar (guest blogger)

This time I present to you Anna Dean, a fellow trainee, who will share her experiences from visiting Navistar, an alliance company of Volkswagen truck & bus. Recently the Volkswagen truck and bus group increased its’ shares to around 20% in Navistar and is seeking to achieve synergies in procurement, development of powertrains and increase collaboration around connectivity.

Sincerely,
Fredrik
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During my Christmas holiday, I had the opportunity to visit Navistar’s headquarters in Chicago. Before visiting, the alliance made between Volkswagen Truck and Bus, VWTB, and Navistar Inc had been a big question mark. What is Navistar Inc? What are we doing there? And how are we going to make this work? However, after the visit what Navistar is and why the alliance was made is a little more clear.

America, the land of roads!

On the highway to headquarters it became clear how truck driving is a primary way of transporting goods. After living in Europe for several years, I had forgotten how common driving is. You can easily be on a 5 lane highway and have 4 semis side-by-side…. America is truly the land of roads! The US alone has 47,432 miles of interstate! And Navistar, with its vast network of dealerships and repair shops, has a national presence that would be difficult to gain for any foreign company.

Upon arrival in Chicago (or just west of it in a place called Lisle), we met up with Senior Business Developer, Lynnette Hom and Andy Kistner in business development. They introduced Navistar as a company with a long heritage who has been involved in quite a few partnerships and alliances in the past (e.g. Ford, Caterpillar). Afterwards, we got a real feel for the product when we got to sit in the driver’s seat of the LT. We also got to discuss the some of the goals and challenges production is facing at Navistar with the Vice President of Manufacturing, Mike Hom.

Examining the product

The trip to Navistar was like when someone brings Friday’s fika on a Tuesday! As the main purpose was a ’’meet-n-greet’’, the take-aways were more than expected. Navistar is a holding company including brands such as North American truck manufacturer International. The company has progressed from farming equipment in the 1831 (just like Porsche and Lamborghini!) to manufacture today’s truck and busses. Today, the strengths and challenges of the Navistar and VWTB are diverse but they match up well. The alliance between Navistar and VWTB makes sense since it is heavily based on industrial logic. And the very best take-away of all (however cheesy) is that the people at Navistar are as excited about alliance as we are at VWTB!

So cheers to a bright and international future!

Anna Dean

 

 

 

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