GVW Holdings Corp. (GVW), Highland Park, Ill., announced today that it had signed an agreement to sell its Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC and Uptime Parts LLC subsidiaries to International Truck and Engine Corp., operating company of Navistar International Corp. (NYSE:NAV).
The acquisition agreement was signed July 1 and will be completed over the next 30 to 90 days, according to a GVW Holdings release.
Workhorse, located in Union City, Ind., is a major manufacturer of chassis for Class A motor homes, buses and walk-in trucks. Uptime Parts, located in West Chicago, Ill., and Reno, Nev., supplies replacement and aftermarket parts for the RV, truck and bus markets Workhorse serves.
International 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.
GVW will retain its remaining portfolio of companies, which includes Autocar and Union City Body Company (UCBC). “We intend to focus on growing these companies with the same innovation and imagination that has made Workhorse so successful,” said Andrew Taitz, chairman and CEO of GVW Holdings. “The GVW business model has always been to create value in specialized niche automotive markets, and this transaction will allow GVW Holdings to offer more resources in support of that vision at Autocar and UCBC.”
“In addition, Autocar and UCBC will continue to be close partners with Workhorse and International,” added Taitz. “In fact, we are planning for Autocar to continue to assemble the Workhorse R Series diesel chassis and for UCBC to be a partner for integrated step-vans.”
International will provide management oversight, strategy and administration for Workhorse and Uptime Parts, but both will operate as independent and wholly owned subsidiaries of International, the release indicates. They will retain their present management structure and there are no plans to reorganize, reduce or relocate facilities or staff. Workhorse products will continue to be sold through Workhorse certified upfitters and dealers and marketed under the Workhorse brand.
International’s scale and overall capabilities will provide opportunities to reduce material costs, build on Workhorse’s premium product offering and afford other efficiencies that may be integrated into Workhorse’s operations, the release states. Otherwise, Workhorse and Uptime Parts “will continue to operate with the entrepreneurial spirit that has driven their success to date, but with the assets and capabilities of a $9.6 billion company behind them.”
“International hopes to continue to fuel the passion and determination that Workhorse and Uptime Parts has demonstrated,” said Tom Cellitti, vice president and general manager for International’s medium vehicle center. “Their success in their chosen markets has been nothing short of remarkable.”
Discussions with International grew out of Workhorse’s desire to integrate International’s VT 275 V6 diesel engine for Workhorse’s new W42 commercial chassis for walk-in trucks, which go into production later this year. International saw Workhorse as “a unique business model that would complement its existing products and markets,” according to the joint statement.
“International currently does not compete with Workhorse in any market,” the release adds, “and this provides an opportunity to expand its reach into the RV and the Class 2 to 5 commercial markets.”