NC2 Global, the joint truck venture between Caterpillar and Navistar, has started operations in both Brazil and South Africa. The venture was set up last September to produce trucks for global markets under the Cat and International nameplates.

“We’re delighted to be entering the Brazilian market, which is one of our priority markets worldwide and will be the center of our future distribution efforts in the Mercosur [the Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay-Uruguay free-trade zone],” said Al Saltiel, NC2 president. “We have already begun investing in long-term expansion projects in Brazil, which will include domestic production of trucks this year and launching an all-new, state-of-the-art cabover [COE] platform in 2012”

The company will be investing nearly $200 million in Brazil to purchase equipment and set up research and development in addition to hiring and training employees.

Production will take place in Navistar’s Caxias do Sul (RS) facility in the short term, but the company said plans call for the construction of a new assembly plant in the future.

RS has an agreement in place to develop and produce trucks with NC2 technology in one of the industrial units of Agrale, a Brazilian truck and tractor maker. A $10-million investment in the plant will create 150 jobs next year, the company noted.

The 2012 launch of the new COE trucks will include 15 models, ranging from 10 tons to 74 tons GCW with engines ranging from 180 to over 500 hp.

“Our long-term commitment to Brazil includes manufacturing expansion, job creation and the development of a network of partners who are trained to provide quality service for our vehicles and brands, country-wide,” Saltiel said.

In South Africa, the company will do business as NC2 Trucks Southern Africa, replacing Navistar International Trucks Southern Africa. NC2 has acquired all the assets of that company.

“South Africa is a top priority market for NC2, and we are committed to taking full advantage of its strong potential,” said Saltiel. “We intend to build on Cat’s and International’s proven franchises in South Africa with an expanded lineup of International and Cat trucks that address a wide array of customer needs.”

The trucks for the South Africa market will include Navistar’s International 9800 Series of cabover long-haul tractors, including the 9800e and the 9800i 6x4. Both models are powered by the Cummins ISX engine.

The new company will also continue to sell the International WorkStar, which was recently introduced to the market. The WorkStar comes with a 6-cylinder, in-line Cummins ISM engine.
“Globally, the rollout of NC2 is a very exciting development, with two very strong brands bringing together technology, expertise and dealer network infrastructure,” Paul Henning, managing director, said. “As NC2 pursues synergies in all these areas, it is reinventing the world of trucks. By focusing on South Africa as a priority, NC2 is confirming its confidence in our market’s strong future.”

Trucks in the South African market will be produced at an assembly plant in Apex, Benoni, which is capable of producing 350 trucks per month. There is also a 4,200 sq. meter parts distribution center in Midrand, Gauteng.

“NC2’s vision is to bring together our parent companies’ complementary strengths and to work as one to take excellent care of our customers,” said Saltiel. “We’re excited to bring NC2 to South Africa, and look forward to building an even stronger relationship with South African dealers and customers.”