Fri, Feb 23, 2001 EST
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Ford to Build Commercial Trucks
Associated Press
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DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. said Monday it plans to join forces with truck and diesel-engine making Navistar International Corp. to build commercial trucks.

The 50-50 venture, for now unnamed and pending regulatory approval, will include production of Class 6 and 7 medium-duty commercial trucks that will be marketed separately under the Ford and Navistar brands.

Under the alliance, the companies also will explore greater cooperation in smaller commercial vehicles and diesel engines for possible applications in Ford's truck products.

Terms of the venture were not immediately disclosed.

Ford — the world's second-largest automaker — and Chicago-based Navistar will be equally represented on the venture's board of directors, and neither company will have an equity stake in the other's parent company, Ford said.

"This alliance between two industry leaders, with a combined 189 years in the truck business, will bring together the resources that both will need in order to compete in a tough and consolidating market," said Jim Donaldson, Ford's group vice president of global business development.

The venture initially will produce a common chassis for Class 6 and 7 commercial trucks — weighing 19,501 to 33,000 pounds — for sale in North America, with Navistar providing product design and engineering, vehicle assembly and expanded diesel engine programs.

The trucks will be built at Navistar's plant in Escobedo, Mexico.

Navistar is the parent company of International Truck and Engine Corp., a maker of mid-range diesel engines, medium trucks, school buses and heavy trucks. The company also is a private label designer and maker of diesel engines for the pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans.

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