Say goodbye to Navistar International Trucks Southern Africa (NITSA) and welcome in NC2 Trucks Southern Africa. This change of name and modus operandi has arisen via the formation in 2009 of NC2 Global LLC, the company that emerged from the global joint venture between Caterpillar Inc. and Navistar International Corporation.
The name and new structure has now been launched in South Africa. To give the official definition, the company blurb states: “NC2 Global LLC is a 50/50 joint venture between Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) and Navistar (NYSE: NAV), which will develop, manufacture and distribute commercial trucks globally, outside North America. NC2‘s product line will feature both conventional and cab-over truck designs and will be sold under both the International and Cat brands.’
On our local front, NC2 Trucks Southern Africa succeeds the previous local entity and has acquired all NITSA’s assets. Existing International truck dealers and staff will continue to serve customers as part of an expanding network of 17 dealers.
“South Africa is a top priority market for NC2 and we are committed to taking full advantage of its strong potential,’ says Al Saltiel, NC2 president. “We intend to build on Cat’s and International’s proven franchises in South Africa with an expanded lineup of International and Cat trucks that address a wide array of customer needs.’
As a company, NC2 leverages the potent combination of Navistar’s truck manufacturing expertise and Caterpillar’s powerful global network. Headquartered in Lisle, Ill., U.S.A., NC2 is prioritizing high potential markets, including South Africa, Australia, Brazil and China. NC2‘s operations in South Africa are firmly grounded in the market’s long history with International trucks as well as the strong International dealer network. The initial product lineup in South Africa will continue to be led by the International 9800 series of cabover long haul tractors, including the 9800e and the 9800i 6×4. Both models are powered by the Cummins ISX engine, which is rated at 298kW for the 9800e and at 355kW for the 9800i.
Recently introduced in South Africa is the International WorkStar conventional truck, which replaces the International 7600. Historically the highest-selling International product outside North America, the International WorkStar provides rugged power and flexibility for onhighway and limited off-highway applications. The WorkStar comes with a 6-cylinder, in-line Cummins ISM engine rated at 298kW. Although the Workstar has not been launched in South Africa on a national basis, the rollout started in April 2010 through the dealer network.
Given all this, apart from the name, nothing much else changes on the trucking side so customers can expect to still be interacting with the same dealers and people as they have in the past. The ramifications of the joint venture are, at this stage, more global than local although in the long run, multiple benefits will accrue to our local market via the development of new truck products and the utilisation of Caterpillar’s experience and infrastructure. There has never been a Caterpillar branded on-road truck in South Africa and, anyway, Caterpillar no longer makes on-highway truck engines. So, as stated, at this stage, for all practical purposes, we’re just looking at a name change.
New managing director
Perhaps the most significant change is that leading the company’s South African management team will be a new managing director, Paul Henning, who joined NC2 in September this year. Henning’s experience ranges from automotive retail financing with DaimlerChrysler Financial Services to working with manufacturers Mercedes Benz SA (Pty) Ltd, MAN Truck and Bus SA (Pty) Ltd and Toyota South Africa (Hino).
Henning also has international experience with Automotive Holdings (Pty) Ltd in Australia and most recently spent three years in the United Arab Emirates establishing the Hino brand for well-known franchise holder Al Futtaim Motors. “Globally, the roll-out of NC2 is a very exciting development with two strong brands bringing together technology, expertise and dealer network infrastructure,’ Henning says. “As NC2 pursues synergies in all these areas, it is reinventing the world of trucks. By focusing on South Africa as a priority, NC2 is confirming its confidence in our market’s strong future.’
NC2’s South African assets also include a full assembly facility at Apex, Benoni, which has the capacity to assemble 350 trucks per month and a 4 200-square-meter parts distribution center in Midrand, Gauteng.
“NC2’s vision is to bring together our parent companies’ complementary strengths and to work as one to take excellent care of our customers,’ says Saltiel. “We’re excited to bring NC2 to South Africa, and look forward to building an even stronger relationship with South African dealers and customers.’