A New Journey
If you head over to the Mack Trucks facebook page you’ll find a post with the picture seen below.
What does it mean?! The return of the Superliner? Maybe a new cabover model? A new engine? Splitting from Volvo? A 2015 B-Model? Despite rumors on the internet that factory tours have been halted for some time I doubt we will see a new product launch. Something would have leaked by now. Most likely this is nothing more than a market attempt to highlight a “change” in attitude or something dull like that. At a recent press event, President of Mack Truck North American sales and marketing, Stephen Roy, stated the goal of increased overall market share through the growth of the on-highway market. Return of the Cruiseliner! Sorry, got excited again. Head over to trucknews.com to read the full article by clicking here.
Diesel engine manufacturer Cummins and truck builder Peterbilt have been working together on a project known as the Super Truck. The goal is to achieve a double digit fuel economy number for a Class 8 truck, a feat once deemed impossible. The marriage of Cummins ISX15 to a Peterbilt 579 jammed full of cutting edge technology has resulted in a 75% increase in fuel economy, a 43% reduction in greenhouse gases and a 86% gain in efficiency compared to baseline model trucks. We live in a world were money talks so what do these percentages mean? For a long haul truck averaging 120,000 miles a year the fuel economy offered by the SuperTruck could represent a savings of $27,000. That’s a hard number to walk away from. With recent government proposals to further regulate emissions and fuel efficiency for heavy trucks these results are critical to both truck makers and buyers alike. For the full details on the SuperTruck, the technology and the test criteria used head over this BussinessWeek.com article.
JAC in the USA?
When I find myself bored and in front of the computer (typical work day) I often pull up Google Maps and explore the world. More often than not I begin to scout my surrounding area for truck hunting locations. Yesterday I decided to check out the world headquarters of Navistar in Lisle, Illinois. I wasn’t hoping for much but too my surprise the ever sneaky Google street view car had made a ring around Navistar Circle, the presumably “private” roads that surround the sprawling campus. In one of the outer parking lots a few large trucks were to be found and more than one raised my eyebrow. Check out this JAC cabover. Click to enlarge.
CRAZY! It appears this truck made the journey from China when JAC and Navistar signed an agreement in 2012 to jointly market both light and medium duty cabovers produced by JAC for sale in Brazil. Talk about global economics. Coincidentally Google snapped these photos in June of 2012, a mere two months after the agreement was announced. The International Trucks Brazilian website makes no mention of this vehicle (Handsome Bell) and I haven’t been able to find much more to indicate if the deal ever become a reality. You can read the 2012 press release here.
Some of the other vehicles in the parking lot were to be expected of company researching its competitors. A Freightliner Cascadia, Kenworth T660 and Hino are just a few of the non International trucks that can be found in various configurations. Also worth a mention is the strange looking red cabover. At first I thought it could be the latest incarnation of the LoadStar but then I realized there is a second axle behind the cab so most likely it is another JAC truck.
Why not take a moment to explore Navistar Circle. You might just see a truck you recognize from sales literature or the web.
Blue Diamond Trucks
Dating back to 2001 Ford and Navistar have enjoyed a joint venture by the name of Blue Diamond Truck LLC. I guess the name is a clever play on what the companies two trademarks would look like if merged into one. From a Navistar plant in Escobedo, Mexico the two worked to build the F-650 and F-750 heavy duty truck platforms. With the life cycle of the E-Series van coming to a close Ford had decided to move production of their heavy trucks back to the US, more specifically to their assembly plant in Avon Lakes, Ohio. Read more about the move by visiting the Detroit Press by clicking here. Production of the International ProStar also takes place at this factory which recently became the first Class 8 truck to be sold in South Korea following the enactment of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Read all about it here.
Image Source: Ford