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VW Ponders Complete Takeover of Navistar

Trucker’s stock surges on VW stake.

by on Sep.07, 2016

VW's truck chief says a complete takeover of Navistar is one of the "open" options.

Volkswagen’s unexpected, $256 million investment in Navistar International Corp. has sent shares of the struggling U.S. truck maker surging – especially after VW’s truck chief suggested a full takeover could be in the works.

Under the new agreement, Volkswagen Truck & Bus will invest $256 million in Navistar, and it will maintain that position for a minimum of three years. At $15.76 a share, that means VW will now hold a 16.6% stake in the Illinois-based company. It also will get two seats on the Navistar board of directors.


But VW Trucks boss Andreas Renschler said the deal may be just a first step. During a call with media and analysts to discuss the Navistar investment, Renschler said that, “On our way to becoming a global champion, all options are open.”


TDB Brings You the Chicago Auto Show

New vehicles, technology and concepts.

by on Feb.07, 2014

The Windy City is playing host to the latest set of automotive introductions, new technologies and industry executives.

The 106th Chicago Auto Show features plenty of the latest and greatest in the auto world, and plenty of breaking news. And continues to bring you more news and behind-the-scenes reports from the show at McCormick Place.

Here’s our handy guide to our complete coverage. Make sure to keep coming back as we add more!


Nissan Considering Diesel for Midsize Frontier Pickup

But other options, including hybrid, also under study.

by on Feb.06, 2014

Nissan teamed with Cummins on the Frontier diesel concept debuting in Chicago.

After a long and near complete absence from the American automotive market, diesels are again gaining traction, a growing number of makers offering them this year, with more to follow – and nowhere is that more apparent than in the full-size pickup segment where Chrysler is winning kudos for the EcoDiesel in its big Ram 1500, while rival Nissan has announced plans to add a diesel when it launches its next-generation Titan for 2016.

But the Japanese maker brought another possible diesel option to this year’s Chicago Auto Show, a concept version of its midsize Frontier truck featuring an engine produced by Nissan’s diesel partner Cummins.

Keep on Truckin'!

And a senior official broadly hinted that the prototype, dubbed the Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner, could soon wind up in production.

“Will we build it? We want to see what the public tells us,” said Nissan’s head of U.S. sales, Fred Diaz.


Ford Adds 2,000 Jobs

Meeting the demand for F-150 pickup, Transit.

by on May.02, 2013

Ford is adding 2,000 jobs at Kansas City Assembly to account for an increase in F-Series sales.

Ford Motor Co. is investing $1.1 billion and adding more than 2,000 jobs at its Kansas City Assembly Plant to meet rising demand for the Ford F-150 and planned production of the all-new Ford Transit.

“Customer demand for today’s F-150 is strong and continues growing, the truck segment is growing three times faster than the overall industry, the housing market is strengthening, and we are seeing growth in the U.S. economy,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Our ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150 is America’s favorite pickup, and we are going to expand operations in Kansas City to ensure we have enough trucks to meet customer demand.”

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Ford is adding 900 jobs and a third crew in the third quarter of 2013 to build F-150. U.S. sales of Ford’s F-Series trucks increased 24% in April and is up 19% year to date. Ford also is adding another 1,100 jobs starting in the fourth quarter to prepare for the introduction of the all-new Ford Transit full-size van in 2014.


Atlas Concept Truck a Pick-Up for Ford Stock

Unexpected unveiling offers a hint of replacement for best-selling F-Series.

by on Jan.15, 2013

The surprise debut of the Ford Atlas concept pickup.

Ford Motor Co. stock took a sharp jump following the automaker’s unexpected unveiling of the Atlas Concept truck, a prototype offering a hint of what’s to come when the maker replaces its best-selling F-Series pickup in 2014.

In an appearance to an industry conference coinciding with the North American International Auto Show, Ford CEO Alan Mullaly marveled at the reaction to the preview.  The unveiling of the Atlas had been whispered about but unconfirmed by the maker until the huge silver truck descended from the ceiling of Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.

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“How about that,” proclaimed Mulally in an off-the-cuff remark following  his speech to the Automotive News World Congress. By the time the NY Stock Exchange closed, Ford common was up 31 cents, or 2.22%, for the day, to $14.30.


Ford’s Atlas Concept Signals Plan for Next-Gen F-150

Truck wars keep heating up as Ford concept takes aim at new Chevy, GMC and Chrysler pickups.

by on Jan.15, 2013

The Ford Atlas Concept signals the maker's plans for the next-generation F-Series pickup.

Ford tossed a hand grenade into the already escalating truck wars, literally dropping in on the North American International Auto Show with the Atlas, a concept pickup that provides some clear hints about where the maker is going with the next-generation F-Series, the country’s best-selling truck for more than a third of a century.

The widely-rumored reveal came just a day after Chrysler won the coveted North American Truck of the Year award during the Detroit Auto Show’s opening ceremonies. Meanwhile, Chevrolet had hoped to steal the show with Monday’s official unveiling of the next-generation Silverado pickup.

The Last Word!

Senior Ford officials did little to deny that they were intentionally trying to steal their competitors’ thunder by bringing the Atlas to the 2013 NAIAS and teasing what they promised would be a wide range of new industry-benchmark features and capabilities.


GM Puts Light-Duty Truck Diesel on Indefinite Hold

Another sign of money problems at GM?

by on Mar.11, 2009

GM is putting its light-duty truck diesel on "indefinite hold."

GM's light-duty truck diesel is on "indefinite hold."

Light-duty truck buyers interested in purchasing a half-ton diesel are going to have to wait until after 2010 at the very earliest. GM is the latest manufacturer to confirm a diesel engine won’t be offered any time soon in its light-duty pickups. Employees at GM’s Tonawanda Engine Plant near Buffalo, New York were told Monday that the all-new 4.5-liter Duramax V-8 diesel has been indefinitely postponed.

“Due to the capital constraints and the current economic climate, the 4.5-liter Duramax is on indefinite hold,” GM powertrain spokesperson Susan Garavaglia told “It’s not cancelled. Should the situation change, we’re still very interested in adding this technology to our product portfolio.”

The news of the so-called baby Duramax being placed on hold isn’t surprising. Ford and Toyota have also indefinitely paused their small diesel programs and Chrysler recently said a diesel for the Dodge Ram 1500 won’t be available until 2011 at the earliest. Ford, GM, Chrysler and Toyota had previously promised half-ton diesels by the 2010 calendar year.

A rapid surge in fuel prices last year that left diesel fuel with an approximate 20 percent price premium over regular gasoline and the dramatic decline in pickup truck sales have been cited as reasons by other truck manufacturers, as well as the deteriorating condition of the general economy.


Pickups Surging

Ford adding third shift for F-150.

by on Feb.10, 2009

Harley-Davidson F-150 could spur demand further

Harley-Davidson F-150 could spur demand further

Beware conventional wisdom. If you listened to the pundits, just a few months back, you’d likely assume that the pickup truck is dead, particularly full-size models, such as Ford’s newly-redesigned F-150.

So, why is the automaker ready to add a third shift at its Rouge Assembly plant, in Dearborn, Michigan? Because despite its seemingly imminent death, the truck market is showing surprising signs of strength.

In December, in fact, as fuel prices plunged to as little as a third of their Summer 2008 peak, full-size trucks grabbed a solid 14.4 percent of the U.S. market. And though that was certainly down from where sales had stood before the recession began, it marked a timely, if unexpected comeback for Ford, and rival Chrysler, which also launched a new version of its Ram pickup for the 2009 model-year.