Volkswagen is again looking to increase its presence in the United States. Rather than expand its model range or introduce brands like Skoda and Seat, VW is reportedly interested in getting a foothold in the North American truck market by buying a stake in Navistar’s International Trucks.
The report originated Sunday in a German newspaper, reports Automotive News. A stake in Navistar would help VW better compete with Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Mitsubishi Fuso, and U.S. truckmaker Freightliner, among others.
Though VW already has controlling interest in European truckmakers Scania and Man, those two companies don’t have much of a presence in the U.S. because of their cab-over-engine configuration – a layout not common among Freightliner, Mack, Kenworth, Peterbilt, or Navistar’s International. Purchasing Navistar, an already established name, would help VW ease into the North American heavy truck market.
A takeover of Navistar might not be easy, though. Carl Icahn, an investor in Navistar with a near-12 percent stake, is pushing for it to merge with Oshkosh, which manufactures trucks for the military, among other clients. Fiat and Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne has also expressed interest in the U.S. truck market. Is a VW takeover inevitable? Only time will tell, but it certainly seems lately that what VW wants, VW gets.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)