Navistar will stop producing medium-duty engines at its plant in Melrose Park, Illinois, beginning in the second quarter of its 2018 fiscal year.
Most of the proprietary engines made in Melrose Park are 9 and 10-litre models for Class 6 and 7 trucks. Navistar reintroduced the option of a 6.7-litre Cummins engine in 2013, followed last year with the option of a 9-Litre Cummins.
Cummins engines for Class 6 and 7 trucks are produced in Indiana and North Carolina, while Navistar makes big-bore engines for Class 8 trucks in Alabama.
About 170 employees will be affected, reducing Navistar’s operating costs about US $12 million per year. The company says a “significant portion” of the hourly employees are eligible for retirement.
“Ceasing production of engines at Melrose Park is a difficult decision, but represents another important step on our journey to strengthening the company’s competitiveness,” said Persio Lisboa, Navistar’s Chief Operating Officer. “Our N9/10 engine family was updated in 2014 and since then has served as a competitive niche offering for specific medium-duty vehicles. As we approach future regulatory requirements, the low volume nature of the platform could not justify further product development investments on it.”
The company still has a presence at Melrose Park, where facilities are being transformed into a technical center for testing and validating trucks and engines, and also selling and reconditioning used trucks. A transformation that began in 2010.