San Antonio: Navistar Hosts Virtual Ground-Break Ceremony for Bus Manufacturing Plant
Feature Photo (above): A Navistar International brand truck its put through its paces at the company’s Mexico City facility. Image: Google Streets.
San Antonio (Bexar County) — Navistar International Corporation conducted a virtual groundbreaking ceremony Thursday to celebrate the beginning of construction of its new manufacturing plant in south Bexar County.
Held in concert with officials from the City of San Antonio, Bexar County and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF), the ceremony was posted to YouTube.
Navistar (NYSE: NAV) is a leading maker of International brand commercial trucks, proprietary diesel engines and IC Bus brand school and commercial buses.
VBX, in a June 9 article, reported that Navistar anticipated construction would begin in July on a five-building, 1-million-square-foot facility.
Speaking at the virtual event were Navistar executives Troy A. Clarke, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Persio Lisboa, executive vice president and chief operating officer; and Mark Hernandez, senior vice president, global manufacturing.
Texas leaders Governor Greg Abbott; City of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg; Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff; City of San Antonio Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran; San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh; and SAEDF CEO Jenna Saucedo-Herrera also joined in the celebration.
“This groundbreaking ceremony marks a milestone for us in the development of our new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility,” said Clarke. “We are excited to become part of the San Antonio community and we’re confident this facility will reinforce Navistar’s gains in the marketplace.”
Located near Interstate 35, off U.S. Highway 281 and the frontage road connecting to Mitchell Lake Trailhead, the new 900,000-square-foot plant will have the capacity to produce Class 6-8 vehicles. Vehicle production at the facility is scheduled to begin early 2022, bringing more than 600 jobs to the San Antonio area.
Architectural rendering of the planned Navistar factory. Image by Ghafari Associates.
“It’s an honor to welcome Navistar into the Lone Star State’s thriving community of innovation, technology and economic momentum,” said Governor Abbott. “The state’s partnership with a leader in commercial vehicle innovation will fuel Texas’ COVID-19 recovery by providing great job opportunities to our diverse and highly skilled manufacturing workforce.”
The more than $250 million investment in Texas is a key component to the company’s “Navistar 4.0” growth strategy. The location of the San Antonio plant allows for significant logistics improvements and a consolidation of the company’s supply base.
The new facility will also incorporate the latest manufacturing principles – digital factory, connected machinery, robust lean manufacturing processes and cloud analytics – to enable predictive quality and maintenance, and allow data-driven decisions to be made on the shop floor in real time.
“We are excited to launch Manufacturing 4.0 concepts at our new facility, as these advancements will reduce manufacturing complexity and increase quality,” said Navistar COO Lisboa. “Sharing these new industrial advances and Manufacturing 4.0 concepts with our existing plants is an additional benefit we anticipate from our experience with this new facility.”
The industry-leading facility will include a general assembly line, body shop, paint shop and logistics center, as well as a truck specialty center, to make aftermarket modifications on-site.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.