The writing has been on the wall for a while now but now it’s become official without being officially announced, the Maxxforce lines of engines produced by International are a failure. At least the larger bore models for class 8 semis. The debacle with Maxxforce EGR engines has costed the company millions while decreasing market share. Thanks to the wise decision to dump EGR and partner with Cummins, International has managed to claw it’s way back to profitably through plant closures and other divestitures. But yet the pain still lingers. Maxxforce engines were supposed to free International from the hassles of dealing with outside suppliers. Building engines in house make sense as the profits stay in house. If you make your own engines you are not at the mercy of an outside vendor who can idle your production lines when they experience problems of their own. This integrated production should allow you to move trucks out the door at a quick pace. With industry backlog at record highs this could lead to an increase in market share. After all, your competitors cant sell a truck they don’t have. Unfortunately for International this wasn’t the case. Warranty costs relating to Maxxforce EGR spiraled while reliability plummeted. Class action lawsuits are now starting. In the trucking word people rarely forget or forgive trucks that don’t perform. Once you lose a customer you have to work very hard to get them back. So what do you do? Time for a rebranding.
I’ve noticed recently on the International website, the Trail Magazine, and the International Youtube channel news regarding the N9 and N10 line of engines. These two “new” engines appear to have replaced all the Maxxforce engines except for the DT and 7 creations. Are they really new? No, they are not. Based on the video below I think they are the same Maxxforce engines as before but this time using SCR from the factory. The International rep in the video alludes to past glories of class leading engines and the need to regain that title while mentioning the N series line are the best of both worlds as they use EGR hardened materials that can only lead to increase life in less demanding SCR situations. We shall see. Unlike when Maxxforce arrived on the scene the N’s arrived with no trumpets blaring. No banners unfurling. No outrages promises have been made. The engines have quietly arrived on the scene hopefully ready to work.
As an unabashed International supporter I hope they can pull this off. I would probably feel different if I was one of the people stuck with a Maxxforce lump but I wasn’t so I’m willing to forgive and forget. Below is a video of engine manufacturing relating to the new N9 and N10.
Personally, I’m happy to see the Maxxforce name leave us. It reminded me to much of the time Homer Simpson changed his name to Max Power, a name he mooched from a hair dryer of all places.