Navbistar is not planning to drop Cummins diesels from its lineup any time in the future, says Navistar management, responding to what was probably a “throw away” line at the recent announcement of the company’s new alliance with the Volkswagen Group.
“We have no plans to displace Cummins as an engine supplier,” Navistar president and CEO Troy Clarke said during Navistar’s third-quarter earnings conference call.
The retraction follows a suggestion earlier in the week from Clarke that a Volkswagen-based powertrain could be available by 2019, an “illustrative” timeframe that’s “not tomorrow, but not well into next decade.”
“We have no plans to displace Cummins engines between now and the 2019 date that, quite frankly, I wish we hadn’t said, because there’s not as much substance behind that as a lot of people seem to consider,” Clarke said, in response to numerous questions from investment analysts.
“Cummins is an important partner for us and they’re helping us create outstanding vehicles that are getting a lot of traction in the market. We’re including their product in all of the new product launches that will take place over the next 18 months.”
Cummins powers more than 80 percent of the company’s vehicles and ultimately, he added, the customer will continue to make the decision on powertrain options.
He restated his earlier position that the Volkswagen alliance is in a very early phase, and only now that the deal has been announced can the two companies begin “to work together to figure out what we’re going to do when.”