Navistar, Inc. today introduced its first commercial trucks for the Indian market at the 10th annual India Auto Expo in New Delhi. The U.S.-based truck maker described the product launch as “part of its global growth strategy.” Mahindra-Navistar Automotives Ltd. (MNAL), the commercial vehicle joint venture formed by Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) of India and Navistar, unveiled a family of commercial trucks and tractors in the range of 25-, 31- , 40- and 49- ton (equivalent GVW ranges of approximately 56,000 up to 109,000 lbs).

According to Navistar, the trucks were designed, developed and tested for Indian roads and conditions and are capable of negotiating the toughest terrain. “The trucks are made for India, made in India and leverage Navistar’s expertise in designing and manufacturing medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks,” the OEM stated. The 25- and 31-ton trucks were unveiled previously in Delhi, while the 40- and 49-ton trucks made their debut at the Auto Expo.

“With the addition of the MN 40 and MN 49 trucks and tractors to its product portfolio, Mahindra-Navistar is now well poised to cater to a wide spectrum of requirements in the Indian Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) industry,” said Anand Mahindra, vice chairman & managing director, Mahindra Group. “This product lineup makes us a formidable player.”

“I’m excited to witness the launch of this all-new lineup of trucks at the India Auto Expo,” said Dee Kapur, president, Navistar Truck Group. “India is an important market for us and the Mahindra-Navistar joint venture will redefine the trucking industry in India.”

In 2005, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Navistar entered into the MNAL joint venture to manufacture light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles for India as well as export markets. According to Navistar, the jv “plans to expand its product line further over the next two years to emerge as a full-range commercial vehicle player from 3.5-ton GVW to 49-ton GVW with variants of passenger transport, cargo and specialized load applications.”

The OEM noted that the product development for the new vehicle family was handled by Navistar with Navistar’s team working with MNAL engineers to bring North American technology into the Indian market. “Basically, we combined the best of both worlds to create a new and unique product DNA,” said Ramin Younessi, Navistar group vp, product development & strategy, and member of the MNAL board of directors. “The products were designed with unique styling and characteristics to be attractive in the local market while setting the bar for the future of commercial vehicles in India.”

The Mahindra-Navistar range of medium and heavy vehicles will be manufactured at Mahindra &Mahindra's new greenfield plant at Chakan, near Pune. The plant, which spans more than 700 acres, has been set up with investments by Mahindra & Mahindra of more than $857 million USD and will produce other Mahindra &Mahindra products as well.

Mahindra-Navistar noted it has put in place an extensive sales and service network to cater to its customers. In addition to the existing network of dealers, MNAL is adding 50 new dealers across the country and “will also draw on the vast pool of Mahindra &Mahindra auto and tractor channel partners to use as an extended network for serving the needs of its customers.”

The company added that the 40- and 49-ton models will be powered by the Navistar MaxxForce 7.2 liter CRDI engine, which it said was chosen because its 4-valve per cylinder technology is “designed for better performance, higher power, better fuel efficiency and stricter adherence to Indian and Euro emission standards.”