GM to unveil Springfield-built truck in March


By Matt Sanctis - Springfield News-Sun (TNS)



SPRINGFIELD — Chevrolet will unveil a new medium-duty Silverado truck that will be built at Navistar’s Springfield plant at an auto industry show in Indianapolis this spring.

The Springfield plant has long been preparing for the joint venture with GM to build medium-duty trucks. Those trucks will be available in both the International and GM brands, and will be produced with engineering input from both manufacturers.

Navistar has more than 1,800 workers at its Springfield manufacturing plant and thousands of retirees in the area.

GM said the all-new Silverado Class 4 and 5 chassis cab trucks will be unveiled at the Work Truck Show, which is scheduled for March 6 to 9. The truck is expected to go into production in Springfield in late 2018, according to information from GM.

“This new vehicle is just the beginning for many new and improved products, which are built with pride in America by union labor in Springfield, Ohio,” said Jason Barlow, president of the UAW Local 402, which represents the majority of Navistar’s workforce in Springfield.

GM officials have said the trucks will be aimed at fleet and commercial customers.

“The Silverado 4500HD and 5500HD trucks are the flagship of our full-line commercial truck portfolio and we’ve designed them to be among the best in the industry in maneuverability, serviceability, quietness and comfort, diesel fuel economy and more,” said Ed Peper, U.S vice president for General Motors Fleet in a statement.

The new trucks will be available in regular and crew cab models, with two-wheel and four-wheel drive capability. They will be powered by Duramax diesel engines and Allison transmissions. Additional technical information about the truck is expected to be revealed at the truck show in March.

Along with the upcoming medium-duty trucks, Navistar workers in Springfield also produce a GM cutaway van as part of a separate joint agreement with the company.

In December, Navistar reported a profit of $30 million for its most recent fiscal year — its first annual profit in six years — a result company leaders called a breakthrough year for the truckmaker.

The last time Navistar had reported an annual profit was 2011. Troy Clarke, Navistar’s president and CEO, said 2018 is also expected to be a strong year as the company expects growing demand for commercial trucks.

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By Matt Sanctis

Springfield News-Sun (TNS)

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