U.S. Foodservice VP Gets Keys to Flagship Class 8 Tractor, Five Years in Development
Chatham, Ontario - March 01, 2007
International Truck and Engine Corporation today presented keys for the first production ProStar to U.S. Foodservice, signifying that delivery of its new flagship and industry-leading aerodynamic class 8 tractor has begun. International Truck officials presented the keys to Bernie Cassetori, vice president of U.S. Foodservice, during ceremonies at its state-of-the-art Chatham manufacturing plant.
"When we began developing and designing the ProStar five years ago, the customer and driver were at the center of our focus," said Tom Baughman, general manager, heavy vehicles, in presenting the first ProStar’s keys to U.S. Foodservice’s Cassetori. "It was our goal to create a vehicle that delivers unparalleled driver satisfaction, a quality truck that is reliable with unprecedented uptime and provides the lowest cost of ownership, and a vehicle with industry-leading aerodynamics that helps deliver best-in-class fuel economy. Those goals are being realized as we hand over the keys."
While today’s ceremony celebrates delivery of the first ProStar, the new tractor has been rolling off the assembly line on schedule since Jan. 29 at the Chatham plant.
"It's great to see this plant up and running again and delivering state-of-the-art trucks. The McGuinty government is focused on supporting cutting edge research and development to help manufacturers, like International Truck, compete against the best in the world," said Sandra Pupatello, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
Once slated to close, the facility sprang back to life after a successful and concerted effort by its leaders, employees, the Canadian Auto Union, Canadian officials, and a $270 million modernization that included a complete reconfiguration of the assembly line. At full production, the facility expects to manufacture more than 100 ProStar tractors a day and employ two shifts.
"We can all take a tremendous amount of pride in this achievement," said Dee Kapur, president of International’s Truck Group. "Combining this most aerodynamic, fuel-efficient, customer-focused vehicle with this environment of talented truck builders in a revitalized facility positions us all for a strong future."
A major International customer, U.S. Foodservice, the second-largest U.S. foodservice distributor, employs more than 27,000 people and operates 70 distribution centers across America. In receiving the keys to the ProStar, which sported special decals honoring the event, Cassetori said, "U.S. Foodservice is excited to be International’s first customer to take delivery of the ProStar. We are impressed with the many comfort features and can’t wait until our drivers experience the opportunity to drive this new generation of vehicles from International."
At today’s ceremonies, visitors got a tour of the Chatham plant, which employs approximately 800 workers and includes state-of-the-art equipment and technology, a research-and-development facility and advanced skills and training. The reconfigured assembly line accommodates the ProStar's more modular production process. And the 800 workers who build the ProStar all have more than 10 years of truck-assembly experience, underscoring International’s drive for quality in its production.
Bob Chernecki, assistant to the Canadian Auto Workers’ national president, praised the incredible commitment by the workers and the management team in Chatham. "We have consistently proven in this plant that the workers can engineer and build top quality products and the launch of the ProStar today, shows once again that workers in Chatham can deliver a first-rate product. This also will mean an important measure of security for the members of Local 127 and 35, their families and the community of Chatham."
About International Truck and Engine Corporation
International Truck and Engine Corporation is the operating company of Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV). The company produces International® brand commercial trucks, mid-range diesel engines and IC brand school buses and is a private label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. The company is also a provider of truck and diesel engine parts and service sold under the International® brand. A wholly owned subsidiary offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.internationaldelivers.com