NZ Truck & Driver News

 
Inter gone in Oz...still going strong here

Inter gone in Oz...still going strong here

NZ Truck & Driver News

 October 2020   

The International brand is to disappear from the Australian market (again)…..but New Zealand’s longtime Inter distributor (and local assembler) is emphatic that it’s business as usual here.

A mid-September press release from International Trucks Australia broke the news that IVECO Trucks Australia – the Aussie distributor – “has been advised by Navistar Inc, manufacturer of International Trucks, that it will cease global production of the ProStar range, effective in December this year.”
The announcement continued: “While left hand drive model replacements are in development, IVECO has been advised that the extensive validation and engineering investment necessary to make these vehicles available in right hand drive, for what is a limited number of lower volume markets, means that these replacement vehicles will not become available in Australia.”
But Comer Board, MD of NZ International representative Intertruck Distributors, is adamant that nothing has changed in his company’s deal with Navistar to assemble Inter conventionals here. 

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The International brand is to disappear from the Australian market (again)…..but New Zealand’s longtime Inter distributor (and local assembler) is emphatic that it’s business as usual here.
A mid-September press release from International Trucks Australia broke the news that IVECO Trucks Australia – the Aussie distributor – “has been advised by Navistar Inc, manufacturer of International Trucks, that it will cease global production of the ProStar range, effective in December this year.”
The announcement continued: “While left hand drive model replacements are in development, IVECO has been advised that the extensive validation and engineering investment necessary to make these vehicles available in right hand drive, for what is a limited number of lower volume markets, means that these replacement vehicles will not become available in Australia.”
But Comer Board, MD of NZ International representative Intertruck Distributors, is adamant that nothing has changed in his company’s deal with Navistar to assemble Inter conventionals here. 
“To clarify (the Australian media release),” he says, “Navistar and IVECO Australia are ending their international sales distributor agreement. This has no impact on our NZ business.”
He confirms that the ProStar is being phased out in the US – to be replaced here with the near-identical RH model currently sold in the States.
And, he says: “We have worked with Navistar in utilising our own manufacturing capability to continue right hand drive in conventional products, based on their current model range. IVECO (Australia) have chosen not to take this option.”
It is, he adds, “unfortunate this important point and opportunity” was not made clear in the Australian press release.
Adds Board: “The difference is, Intertruck has a longterm investment with International, driven by passionate staff, customers and our dealer network.”
The model change will in fact, says Board, be good news for Kiwi Inter buyers – allowing the addition of a second engine to the current ProStar’s Cummins X15. The 12.4-litre A26 engine weighs around 350kg less than the X15, thus meaning “it will again dominate the tare weight space.”
The A26 complies with the EPA 17 GHG (greenhouse gas) standard, which Board says, “is more stringent than the latest Euro emissions. It also comes with “significant fuel mileage savings over earlier emission standards.”
As for Intertruck’s International 9870 cabover – which the Kiwi company has continued to assemble long after Navistar quit producing the model – Board says the Kiwi company’s stockpile of essential components will meet demand for up to three more years.
“And we’re in talks on a different cab to replace it. We know we need to continue on with a cabover product.” And yes, “absolutely” it will happen, he insists. 
Intertruck is now in its 24th year as the NZ Inter distributor, in an arrangement Board reckons results in “the best from International’s product range through local assembly.
“Since COVID our market share has increased, the assembly lines are at full capacity – thanks to the support from all of our customers.”
The ProStar hasn’t sold well in Australia – last year seeing just 54 sales….in a heavy-duty truck market five times bigger than NZ’s.
In the first nine months of 2020, 22 Internationals were sold in NZ – about 12 of them ProStars. Board says he’s targeting sales of 20-25 ProStars next year – “and we’re aiming at getting up to around the 50 mark per year. That’s where we need to be.”  

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