Navistar and General Motors agreed to expand their manufacturing partnership Thursday, with the Lisle, Ill.-based truck maker agreeing to manufacture GM’s cutaway commercial vans at its Springfield, Ohio plant next year.
GM’s full-length on frame Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans are upfitted into utility or service vehicles, ambulance or rescue vehicles, shuttle buses and school buses.
“This partnership will provide our Wentzville, Mo., assembly plant more flexibility to keep up with continued demand for mid-size trucks and full size vans,” says Cathy Clegg, GM North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations Vice President.
Under the terms of the multi-year contract, Navistar says it will add at least 300 jobs and recommission its second line at the plant.
“Our Springfield plant is an important part of our manufacturing footprint, and we’ve been preparing it for a higher volume concentration of light- and medium-duty products as part of our manufacturing strategy,” says Persio Lisboa, president, Navistar operations. “This is an important step towards our goal to drive automotive quality into the commercial vehicle industry.”
Last September, Navistar and GM announced a separate long-term agreement to develop and assemble a medium-duty, conventional cab Class 4/5 commercial vehicle at Navistar’s Springfield plant starting in 2018.