Momentum for the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta grew on May 25 when Navistar International Corp. announced it has committed to the new show for three years — 2017, 2019 and 2021 — and that it definitely will not exhibit on the corporate level at the Mid-America Trucking Show in 2017.
Navistar joins Daimler Trucks North America, which made a similar statement May 23 that it will turn from MATS toward the NACV Show in Atlanta in September 2017. Unlike Mid-America, which is annual in Louisville, Kentucky, in the spring, NACV is set up for Septembers in odd-numbered years.
“This is the perfect showcase for the International lineup of trucks and technology,” Navistar Senior Vice President Jeff Sass told Transport Topics. He said MATS is “a very good owner-operator show, but we’re looking for a comprehensive vehicle show.”
Sass said International dealerships retain the right to display at MATS if they choose, but the big corporate display will move to Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center. He also said Navistar could return to Mid-America in 2019, depending on circumstances at the time.
NACV is a new show developed by Newcom Media USA and Hannover Fairs USA, subsidiaries of Canadian and German corporations, respectively.
As with Daimler, Navistar has been given a seat on the show’s advisory committee.
All four North American truck-making corporations and independent engine maker Cummins Inc. backed out of MATS this year, saying that an every-other-year format makes more sense. They want to display in Europe at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hanover, Germany, in even-number years, and at a major North American show in odd-number years.
Hannover Fairs’ parent company is Deutsche Messe, which owns the fairgrounds for IAA and operates the show, although it does not own IAA. Newcom is a Canadian publisher of trucking news and other information as well as the operator of truck shows in Montreal and Toronto.
Sass said the new show appeals to Navistar management because it will allow the company to display all of its commercial vehicles at once, including on-highway, vocational, medium-duty, severe service and maybe even school buses. He also said he expects a greater emphasis on actual truck sales at the show.
“I could foresee some fleets coming to the show to look at our lineup and giving a PO [purchase order],” Sass said in offering a best-case scenario.
Sass said Navistar and DTNA compete fiercely for sales, along with the operating companies of Paccar Inc. and Volvo Group, but Navistar would like to see all truck makers at the same place.
“From our view, if all of the OEMs are in one place, it lets customers compare and contrast our products with our competitors, and we like that because we’re proud of what we’ve done," Sass said.
“And it’s good for the customers, too. If we’re all in it draws better attendance from key stakeholders, who don’t have to worry about going to four or five shows,” he said.
In addition to Mid-America and NACV, another show was proposed in March by American Trucking Associations and Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association.
Commenting after the announcements by Daimler and Navistar, ATA President Bill Graves said:
“At this point, it is unlikely that our exploration of the possibility of a new truck show will be successful, but we will continue to look for ways to advance ATA’s position as the leading voice promoting trucking in the U.S.”
Graves added that “ATA is proud of, and appreciates, the strong relationship we have with our allied members and suppliers — especially our OEMs — and we intend to support them and their endeavors, which we believe should benefit our industry as a whole.”