International Truck & Engine Corp. has been building trucks amid the farmlands of central Ohio since 1921. Now it wants to use that experience to fuel both current and future growth in medium-duty truck market share.
“Springfield is the medium-duty center of International,” said David Johanneson, group vp and gm of the company's medium-duty product line. “We completely retooled and refurbished our plant here two years ago to build the high performance (HP) line of International medium-duty trucks as well as the cabs for our other HP vehicles.”
Much of the $900 million International invested in its new HP line of trucks went into this plant, paying for everything from stamping presses that create the truck and cab body components to the 84 robots that apply 84% of the more than 1,500 welds used to construct the cabs.
The plant builds 150 HP cabs and 4000 Series trucks a day, plus 17 3000 Series bus chassis.
International said the use of stamping presses and robots has allowed it to create cabs with extremely tight tolerances, reducing noise and leaks while improving aerodynamics.
The new cab construction process, coupled with other HP developments, such as reducing wiring by 40% and cutting powertrain components from 3,000 to 700, is what International believes is helping it grow market share.
“In 2001, our share of Class 6-7 sales stood at 40.9%; [now it's] up to 43%,” said Rob Swim, director of marketing for International's medium vehicle line.”