Navistar adds work, but not more workers

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

WEST POINT – Navistar Defense landed two orders this week worth $122 million, with the bulk of the work to be done at the company’s facility in West Point.
But Navistar won’t need more people to handle the work.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Army announced it had received a $66 million order for 492 vehicles that included general troop transports, fuel tankers, water trucks, wreckers and buses. The vehicles will be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The units are additional orders placed under four existing Navistar contracts. Deliveries will begin in December.
Navistar said the buses will be made at Navistar’s Tulsa, Okla., plant, with the remaining vehicles made in Garland, Texas, and West Point.
More than half of the contract will be handled in West Point. As part of the total order, the facility got a three-year, $36 million contract for 248 general transport trucks.
Also Tuesday, Navistar received a second delivery order worth $56 million for another 89 International MXT Husky tactical support vehicles. The contract was awarded by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, which in April 2009 ordered 262 of the vehicles.
The West Point plant will assemble the vehicles.
Delivery of the MXTs is scheduled to begin in October and will be completed by early 2011.
However, the West Point plant, which laid off about 340 contract workers in late July and early August, will produce the vehicles with its current staff of about 200 workers.
“At this point, these new orders will not change the number of contract workers at West Point,” said company spokeswoman Elissa Koc.
The layoffs were made earlier this summer after the company wrapped up a February contract for 1,050 MaxxPro mine-resistant, ambush-protected, or MRAP, vehicles.
On Wednesday, Navistar International, the parent holding company of Navistar Defense, announced it had recorded third-quarter net earnings of $137 million. For the same period a year ago, it posted a loss of $12 million.
Revenue in the third quarter of this year was $3.2 billion compared to $2.5 billion last year.
Strong military sales contributed to the improvement, with Navistar’s truck segment posting $227 million in profit, compared to a $28 million loss last year.