Navistar International Corp. has announced it will reconfigure its truck operations into four distinct business units--North American Truck Operations, Global Truck Operations, Global Bus Operations and Navistar Defense—to streamline operations and strengthen its North American businesses, the company said.

Navistar said that it will further define the new organizational structure and make appointments of executives over the next two months, but it confirmed the process would involve layoffs as functions are consolidated.

“We are organizing our truck segment to better capitalize on the momentum and opportunities ahead for Navistar in our core markets and around the world,” said Dan Ustian, Navistar chairman, president & CEO. “Just a few years ago we set the goal to double our revenue to become a $15 billion company by 2009, and we are on the brink of achieving that mark despite one of the worst North American truck markets in recent history and the overall hardship of the U.S. economy. We must look at ways to continue our forward momentum around customers, new products and growth opportunities.”

While the company did not comment on the number of workers that will be let go, Navistar is cutting up to 500 jobs at its Chatham, ON manufacturing plant this January and moving those functions to Mexico, according to a report in The Windsor Star.

Navistar spokesman Roy Wiley told FleetOwner that the company is not being broken into four separate entities, but is focusing its efforts on finding similarities. He added that most of the executive appointments have already been targeted, but are awaiting board approval.

The North American Truck Operations unit will focus on products, operations and sales for the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including the International ProStar and LoneStar long-haul trucks and the company’s line of diesel hybrid medium trucks.

Navistar’s Global Truck Operations unit will focus on markets outside North America, including expanding the company’s export operations, Navistar said. It also will include further implementation of the company’s joint venture with Mahindra and a proposed joint venture with Caterpillar.

The Global Bus Operations unit will lead all commercial and school bus product development, operations and sales throughout the world. The company noted one of its subsidiaries, based in Mexico, is exploring a joint venture with a Brazilian bus body builder to manufacture commercial bus bodies that would be distributed through the IC Bus Dealer channel starting in 2009.

Navistar Defense will continue converting commercial truck platforms, engines and components into specialized vehicles for the U.S. military and allied countries, including MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and Medium Tactical Vehicles (MTV), the company said.