Navistar raised its revenue projections for this year, in part due to strong results in the company’s truck segment, the manufacturer said Thursday.
It expects 2018 revenues to be between $9.25 billion and $9.75 billion, compared to previous estimates of $9 billion to $9.5 billion. Company leaders pointed to higher sales in its core markets and the military, as well as production of GM-branded vehicles manufactured at Springfield’s Navistar plant.
Navistar is one of Clark County’s largest employers with more than 1,800 people employed at its Springfield plant.
“We expect market conditions to remain robust and we are determined to take advantage of opportunities to grow share while delivering strong margin performance,” President and CEO Troy Clarke said. “Given the progress made in Q1, and our positive outlook for the remainder of the year, we are confident that 2018 will be the breakout year for Navistar.”
The truckmaker reported a net loss of $73 million for the first quarter this year, including $46 million in charges as a result of debt refinancing in November last year. Navistar reported a net loss of $62 million for the same quarter last year.
Along with boosting revenue projections, the company also increased its expectations for truck and bus deliveries to 360,000 to 390,000 units, up from projections of 345,000 to 375,000 in the last quarter.
Navistar’s truck segment loss was $7 million for the first quarter of 2018, compared to a loss of $69 million a year ago, according to its earnings report released Thursday. The improvements were partially offset by a decline in Navistar’s Mexico and export truck sales.
“We are off to a strong start in 2018, thanks to our ability to grow Navistar’s position in a strengthening market,” Clarke said.
Company officials also noted the unveiling of the truck maker’s new Class 6/7 International MV Series Wednesday at the Indianapolis truck show. That truck also will be made in Springfield on an existing line, and it will complete a refresh to the truckmaker’s entire line of products.
Separately, Chevrolet unveiled Wednesday new medium-duty Silverado trucks at the same show that will be built by workers at Navistar’s Springfield plant. Officials from the UAW Local 402 couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday. But on Wednesday, Jason Barlow, president of the UAW Local 402, said the new Silverados could go into production as early as October.
Barlow told the Springfield News-Sun the additional work will be good news for Springfield and union officials and management have worked well together to improve the company’s competitiveness in the market.
Steven Volkmann, an analyst who covers Navistar for Jefferies, a global investment banking firm, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
Navistar officials also said the truck maker’s alliance with Volkswagen is speeding the development of future technologies, including electric powertrains, which are already in development for buses and medium-duty trucks. Last year, Navistar and Volkswagen finalized an agreement that calls for the German firm to buy a roughly 17-percent equity stake in Navistar and invest about $256 million.
The Springfield News-Sun provides award-winning coverage of Navistar and its impact on workers in Clark and Champaign counties.
By the numbers:
1,800 — estimated people employed at Navistar’s Springfield plant
$73M— Navistar’s net loss for the first quarter 2018
$62M— Navistar’s net loss for the first quarter 2017