In a decisive and swift response to satisfy the desire of customers, IC Bus and Navistar are introducing the proven and reliable Cummins ISB engine to the portfolio of options for the IC Bus™ CE Series school buses.
The ISB joins Navistar’s DT and 7 Liter to round out the industry’s most complete lineup of diesel power. No other company offers as many options to its customers.
“Adding the Cummins ISB6.7 to our line-up is a key part of our strategy to offer our customers the most comprehensive engine options in our buses,” says John McKinney, president of IC Bus.
The Cummins ISB6.7 is the perfect ingredient to enhance a long history of customer satisfaction with IC Bus products. The company has already started taking orders for new buses fitted with the engines, and production is set to get under way in January 2014.
“We have listened to our customers and provided them with more engine choices,” says Carl Webb, vice president and general manager of IC Bus. “The goal was to give them the best option possible—one that was not only tested but truly complemented our own offerings.”
The Cummins ISB6.7 option instantly offers IC Bus customers a popular addition to its existing arsenal of diesel engines and brings with it the proven Cummins SCR aftertreatment system.
This is the first time the popular SCR aftertreatment system will be available in the IC Bus portfolio. “There are customers who clearly wanted to have this technology available to them, and we wanted to be able to deliver it quickly,” says Webb.
Another selling point for IC Bus was its ready availability, making any kind of pilot program unnecessary. “We know what this engine can do, and the Cummins ISB6.7 also offered the economy of scale,” says Jodi Presswood, IC Bus director of engineering. “Over 10 million ISB engines have been made to date. That makes for higher reliability and better performance for our customers. It was a no-brainer.”
The move also brings together cutting-edge leadership by marrying the best of both worlds—Cummins’ respected engine quality with IC Bus’s reliable, high-performance vehicles.
“It’s really a marriage made in heaven,” says Presswood. “It not only adds to our own engine offerings, but it brings together the school bus industry’s most popular engine with the chassis and unparalleled support and service system that IC brings to the table. Our customers are more than familiar with the focus our great dealers put on their needs, and this is another example of how that focus has produced results.”
The announcement comes less than a year after Cummins and IC Bus first met to discuss the potential collaboration. The speed with which these engines were adapted by IC Bus and Navistar for the CE Series school buses would be alarming had the companies not already demonstrated the ability to work together to satisfy customer demand.
SIDE BY SIDE
The Cummins ISB6.7 engine might be a new offering for IC Bus customers, but Navistar has worked extensively with Cummins in recent years, packaging and building medium-duty trucks for the Ford Blue Diamond joint venture with the engine since 2010.
“Our companies work well together. We both understand that the needs of the customer are the primary objective,” says Webb. “This engine has proven customer satisfaction, and we were able to pool our resources to get it in our vehicles immediately.” In fact, Navistar and Cummins have collaborated on various projects for 75 years. Just last year, IC Bus’s sister brand, International Truck, added the Cummins ISX 15-liter engine to its Class 8 truck lineup—including the International ProStar, LoneStar, PayStar 5900 and 9900i models.
“When it became obvious that this engine was a solution that our customers truly desired, we made a commitment to work closely with our partners at Cummins to deliver it as quickly as humanly possible,” says Presswood. “We were able to commit to it in just 10 months. That was a fast turnaround that was made all the easier by our strong relationship with Cummins and our familiarity with the product and how to implement it in the best chassis in the industry.”
ALL ABOUT CHOICE
While the Cummins ISB6.7 allows IC Bus to introduce a new product to fill the needs of its bus customers with a solid, road-tested mid-range SCR engine, Presswood says IC Bus will continue to offer Navistar’s proprietary engines that have provided a solid solution for so many customers.
Our customers have let us know we build the best buses on the road,” says Presswood. “We have the best driver ergonomics. Passenger safety features like the full-power hydraulic brakes and five inches of clearance for secure loading and unloading are unparalleled. These buses have 16-gauge steel bodies, and all-steel rail construction makes them more reliable than any other bus on the road. We also have 290 dedicated IC Bus Service and Support locations and more than 750 International Truck Service and Support locations that offer a complete source for the best parts in the industry. Putting this engine in vehicles with that kind of quality gives our customers the best of everything.”