TNI || New Delhi || 24th March 2022
Navistar’s long-awaited truck factory, which has been in production for a month, has celebrated its formal opening, bolstering San Antonio’s claim as a new powerhouse for automotive manufacturing.
The approximately 1 million-square-foot factory, which will eventually employ 620 people, builds heavy-duty trucks with diesel or electric engines and will also make hydrogen-powered trucks in the future.
The plant was meant to make 50 trucks per day with a single shift of workers, but it is currently unable to do so.
They have got roughly 500 new individuals that they expect to build a truck with, and these individuals have never built a truck before, says Rod Spencer, director of Navistar’s San Antonio production site.
According to Spencer, the plant was the brainchild of his boss, Navistar’s head of manufacturing, Mark Hernandez, who foresaw a world-class facility using cutting-edge technology and said it was exciting to be a part of it.
Last year, the Traton Group, a Volkswagen subsidiary, bought Navistar for $3.7 billion.
According to Spencer, the local manufacturing site has had no trouble hiring workers, and Navistar officials are currently reviewing applications for the last 120 open positions.
The only position for which they have had difficulty finding applicants is for experienced maintenance technicians. Navistar, a company that makes commercial trucks as well as buses, first revealed plans for the $250 million facility in 2019.
A little more than a year later, the company announced a second $25 million investment to incorporate new technical facilities at a location south of the main factory.
Local and state officials developed a business climate that fostered industrial innovation and attracted a competent workforce, according to Persio Lisboa, Navistar President and CEO, in a statement at the time, which prompted the company to expand its ambitions.
The project has received a total of $14.4 million in tax exemptions from city and county officials. More benefits have come from the state, which has designated the project as a Texas Enterprise Zone, enabling it to claim up to $3.75 million in sales and use tax rebates.
Notably, local and state authorities visited the plant and observe employees manufacturing trucks on the line during the grand opening event.