Navistar revenues up 28 percent, gains bigger share of market

A large Springfield employer reported good first-quarter revenue earnings on Friday, continuing a bounce back after reporting losses a year ago.

Navistar International Corp. reported the first months of 2019 saw a net income of $11 million, the company told investors in a release Friday, including $2.4 billion in revenues. That’s a 28 percent increase compared to early 2018, when the company reported making $1.9 billion in revenues (a net loss of $73 million).

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“We had our best first quarter since 2010 as customer acceptance of our new products translated to extended gains in our Core market share,” said Troy Clarke, chairman, president and CEO of Navistar. “In addition to our ongoing growth in Class 8, our medium-duty market share grew by six points during the quarter, the largest year-over-year medium share gain in the industry.”

The company has rebounded over the past several years after weathering turmoil that included top management changes, legal struggles, a recession and a failed engine technology. The company reported an annual profit of $30 million in 2017, its first annual profit in six years.

Navistar is one of Clark County’s largest employers with more than 1,800 people working at its Springfield plant. Thousands of the company’s retirees also live in the area.

Workers at Navistar’s Springfield facility produce medium, severe service and heavy-duty commercial trucks, as well as the GM cutaway van on a separate line.

It’s good the company continues to report profits, said Chris Blizard, president of the UAW Local 402.

“The release of the company gaining market share and making a substantial profit in their first-quarter earnings for 2019 is great news, not only for Navistar but also great news for our UAW Local 402 represented employees at the Springfield assembly plant,” Blizard said. “Hopefully this continues throughout the year and should provide us with job security now and in the future.”

READ: Navistar, UAW continue to work as contract details are worked out

Earlier this year, members of the United Auto Workers union approved a new, six-year deal with the truck maker.

Also part of the announcement to investors, Navistar said its truck business continues to grow.

“Truck segment first quarter 2019 net sales increased 44 percent to $1.8 billion, primarily due to higher volumes in the company’s Core markets and an increase in Mexico truck volumes,” according to a Friday press release from the company. “This was partially offset by lower defense sales due to the sale of a majority interest in Navistar Defense during the quarter.”

“The truck segment profit was $90 million in the first quarter 2019, versus a loss of $7 million in the same period one year ago,” the release says. “The improvement was primarily driven by the result of higher volumes in the company’s Core markets, partially offset by higher material and freight costs and the impact of the sale of a majority interest in Navistar Defense.”

The Illinois-based company that has had strong ties to Springfield for years said they project their numbers to continue to grow.

“As our ongoing improvements demonstrate, the company has strong opportunities to benefit from capturing additional market share, growing parts revenue, improving margins and further de-risking the balance sheet,” Clarke said. “Given the progress made in the first quarter, and our positive outlook for the remainder of the year, we are confident that 2019 will move Navistar forward on the path to generate superior shareholder returns compared to the industry.”

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Facts and Figures:

$11 million: Reported first-quarter net income by Navistar for 2019.

28 percent: The increase in revenue compared to the first quarter of 2018.

$2.4 billion: Reported first-quarter revenue in Navistar for 2019

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