International Truck this week challenged each of its Class 8 competitors to participate in an open performance testing of products to take place the week of Aug. 31 at the Navistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Ind.
The company sent letters to Freightliner, Kenworth, Peterbilt and Volvo, urging the OEMs to “bring their two best performing vehicles with regards to fuel economy and drivability.”
Why is International Truck proposing this “drive off?”
In a note to transportation editors, Jeff Sass, Navistar’s senior vice president of North America Truck Sales and Marketing, wrote, “We know that our trucks perform at the top of the on-highway segment. So, instead of just talking about it, we want to prove it, publicly, for the world to see.”
The note goes on to say the company expects to hear within the next few weeks if its challenge has been accepted by any of the OEMs, “and will send additional information at that time.”
In its letter to the truck manufacturers, Johnson wrote, “We will be testing our comparable trucks and will be hosting several members of the trade media to witness the event and report the results. Moreover, we want you to bring what you believe are your two best-performing models to put them through the paces right next to ours. You have the ability to specify which vehicle to use for each test.
“Each of us are proud of our vehicles, and I believe that running our vehicles in an open and transparent forum, side-by-side, will not only raise the water mark but also benefit each of our customers in this industry,” Johnson wrote.
The letter then outlines the tests that will be performed on the trucks, including fuel economy testing, aero coastdown testing, ride vibration and harshness, curb-to-curb cornering ability, forward visibility and interior noise.
To date, none of the OEMs have responded publicly.