Is it the end of an era for International, or, perhaps, the end of International trucks in Australia, full stop? An announcement from Iveco Trucks Australia has stated that the company has been advised by Navistar in the US, that it will cease global production of the ProStar range, effective in December this year.
While left hand drive model replacements are in development, Iveco says it has been advised that the extensive validation and engineering investment necessary to make these vehicles available in right hand drive, for what is a limited number of lower volume markets, means that these replacement vehicles will not become available in Australia.
This may well be the end of the Australian trucking industry’s on/off and on/off again love affair with a brand which was synonymous with Australian trucking heritage for the second half of the 20th century. The International Harvester was one of the dominant brands in the truck market and there are still plenty of trucks developed in that era still plying their trade on our roads.
Financial issues dogged the brand in the nineties and the current ProStar range being offered by International is part of the second attempt to revive the Inter in the 21st century. On a personal note, I am sorry it looks like the end of an era for International, the first regular truck I drove for a living in Australia was a classic, the International S-Line, a pretty basic truck, but it never let me down.
While Iveco’s position as distributor of new International trucks will cease at the end of the ProStar’s production, the company insists that it remains committed to supporting all existing ProStar customers through its nationwide International Dealership network, by offering ongoing servicing and parts support and, of course, honouring all existing warranties.
Iveco Trucks Australia Managing Director, Michael May, said that whilst disappointed with Navistar’s decision, he understood the rationale for the move.
“We are obviously disappointed that the Australian market will no longer have access to the iconic International truck brand and the ProStar range, which is providing operators with outstanding productivity and performance benefits,” said May. “From a business perspective, however, we recognise the substantial investment required for right hand drive markets which does not prove to be viable for Navistar.
“The priority now, for Iveco Trucks Australia, is to continue to provide operators with a level of on-going support that ensures ownership of an International ProStar remains productive, cost-effective and hassle-free.”
The ProStar will remain available to purchase in the short term from existing local stock and through final orders placed in this year’s production.