Traton has at last finalised its take-over of Navistar, with the certificate of merger submitted last week, signalling that the merger of the US commercial vehicle manufacturer with the German based Traton is now complete.
In a move that was started almost five years ago, by former CEO Andreas Rencshler, the Volkswagen subsidiary Traton, now holds all Navistar common shares and the Navistar name will be delisted and deregistered with the SEC this month.
Renschler was the architect of Daimler’s moves to become a truly global truck maker, engineering the take over of Freightliner, Western Star Detroit Diesel and Ford’s truck division which became the ill fated Sterling brand.
Even Andreas Renschler could not have imagined how long winded, drawn out and bruising the Navistar take over would be, claiming Renschler’s job on the way. However in reality Navistar was really the only option for Traton if it was to establish itself as a global truck maker on a par with Daimler. Traton, which itself was spun off from Volkswagen was floated on the stock market in 2019, with its parent company retaining control while selling 11.5 per cent of Traton to the market netting them around $AUD2.4 billion.
The Traton purchase of 100 per cent of Navistar has cost it around $USD 3.7 billion ($AUD 4.9 billion).
The company said that the addition of Navistar as the newest member of the Traton Group marks the beginning of a new era and also means it is entering the final stretch of its ‘Global Champion Strategy’.
North America represents 35 per cent of the global profit pool and the Navistar acquisition will grow the Traton Group by around 30 per cent in terms of sales revenue.
Traton’s brand portfolio include Scania, MAN, Volkswagen Caminhoes e Onibus (South America), and RIO and the Navistar acquisition adds the International brand to the Group.
“Today is a sensational day for the Traton Group and for our new colleagues at Navistar joining the global Traton family,” said Traton CEO Matthias Gründler.
“From this day on, we will be working side by side to bring sustainable transportation of the future one step closer,” he added.
” This is something the entire group is looking forward to,” he said,
“The fact that this merger has been implemented so quickly and smoothly, despite the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, is testament to the impressive team work on both sides of the Atlantic and I would like to thank each and every one involved,” he added.
“Over the past five years, Navistar and the Traton, brands have worked very well together, and it is exciting to become now part of the global Traton, Group,” said Navistar president and CEO Persio Lisboa.
“Our common understanding of the future of transportation and our joint heritage create a very solid basis for our common way forward.
“The transport industry is changing rapidly, and together we will shape this change – for the sake of our customers and the Navistar team is ready for the next step of collaboration,” he added.
A strategic alliance has been in place between Traton and Navistar since 2017, with both companies benefiting from the value generated by enhanced purchasing power and the integration of new technologies.
Traton said that as a new brand in the Group, Navistar will be in a better position to meet “the growing requirements of the market and to improve its customer offering even further”, especially with respect to the transition to electric mobility and the establishment of autonomous driving.
The company added that combining Traton’s leading position in the European and South American markets with Navistar’s strong presence in North America will lay the foundation for a premier company with a global reach and complimentary capabilities.
Traton’s next target appears to be China and the massive market that it presents.
“Right now, we are analysing the best ways we can single-handedly leverage our brands’ potential there,” said Gründler.
“Chinese fleet customers are increasingly looking toward higher-end vehicles and they are expecting more and more in terms of efficiency and safety, so we want to meet this demand.”
Traton said that its Scania brand is currently building a plant northwest of Shanghai, with series production scheduled to begin next year which will make Scania the first Western truck manufacturer to have a fully independent production in China.
The Chinese facility will also house research and development activities, with the plan to create a new technology hub for digitalisation as part of its future strategy,
Traton also wants to broaden its business base and open up new areas of activity, playing an even bigger role in shaping transportation “beyond iron and steel,” Gründler said.
“We want to create new business models and partnerships that add value. We are expanding our perspective on logistics and digitalization.”