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Navistar Inc. announced the next generation of its heavy-duty HX International Truck vocational model, principally designed for the construction segment.
The series, in effect, puts a new exclamation mark on Navistar’s Classes 4-8 vocational offerings, which the truck maker termed the broadest lineup in the industry.
Despite the novel coronavirus remaining a complication, the new HX is scheduled to roll off the production line in Monterrey, Mexico, in March, and is more than a midcycle enhancement to the existing HX model, introduced in 2016, according to the Lisle, Ill.-based company.
No other truck manufacturer offers vocational truck options in Class 4 through Class 8 with digital fleet management tools and the industry’s largest dealer network.
Persio Lisboa, Navistar CEO
It comes with structural reinforcements in the frame, cab and floor, and new features include added maneuverability. The earlier version of the HX will be discontinued, with no overlap period, once the transition in the same factory occurs.
“This is a really important vehicle for us for a number of reasons. But a big one is, it is the first product that we are releasing under Navistar 4.0 and its Project Compass initiative,” with its emphasis on flexible modular designs and broad customer focus, Mark Stasell, Navistar vice president of vocational truck, said during a webinar for media Nov. 16, a day ahead of the official launch.
In addition to construction applications, the new HX is intended for the logging, mining, and oil and gas sectors.
Navistar has been making vocational trucks since 1907, CEO Persio Lisboa said in a video during the presentation, adding, “No other truck manufacturer offers vocational truck options in Class 4 through Class 8 with digital fleet management tools and the industry’s largest dealer network.”
The company expects to gain market share in the construction segment, “which is really where this vehicle is aimed,” Stasell said.
He forecast industry production in 2021 to be slightly smaller in the vocational segment compared with this year, “but a good year, somewhere over 60,000 units for severe.”
About 95% of Navistar’s vocational business goes through its dealers.
Meanwhile, the overall cab size has been increased compared with the current HX model. The new cab features best-in-class HVAC and larger power windows for improved visibility. Inside is International’s newest and highest trim package, Diamond Elite — a new line of premium heated and ventilated seats.
The cab, made of high-strength steel for no weight penalty, is structurally reinforced in key locations and is protected by ChemGuard, LineX and International Truck’s own topcoat process to make it nearly impenetrable to salt. To underscore the corrosion resistance of the cab, the HX Series will be backed by a 10-year perforation warranty.
An LT Series Truck. (Navistar International Corp.)
The Compass Project initiative, said Chad Conley, vice president of vocational sales, gives Navistar “the ability to take some of the new features that we developed for the new HX and move those back into our other vocational products. So you will see that over time.”
The HX three-piece hood is crack-resistant and specifically engineered for front-forward visibility.
The model is available in set-forward axle (HX520) and a set-back axle (HX620) configurations.
Multiple power take-off options also are available.
The HX comes with dual external air cleaners, a pairing Navistar noted offers increased filtration in dusty environments. All marker lights have been replaced with LEDs to improve nighttime visibility and safety while reducing the frequency of repair.
Customers can spec stainless steel visors, bright finish mirrors and additional stainless steel options.
The HX trucks are available with dual steering gears and anti-lock braking systems. The HX620 also comes standard with the International A26 engine, delivering up to 500 horsepower. The Cummins Inc. X15 also is available. Cummins’ L9 and X12 engines will not be available in the HX.
The overall cab size of the new HX has been increased compared with the current HX model. (Navistar Inc.)
The HX series comes with the typical transmission options, including automated, automatic and manual.
In the industry’s vocational segment, Allison Transmission Inc. has about a 40% share, Navistar noted.
The Wingman Fusion package of integrated driver-assist technology from Bendix is another option. Wingman gathers input from radar, video and the brake system to create a highly detailed, integrated data picture of the road.
Bendix is a Knorr-Bremse company.
Bruce Vasbinder, Navistar director of severe service product marketing, said insurance rates are climbing in the vocational sector, “but not as fast as on-highway.”
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