Navistar-Tulsa Spat Ends In 20-Year Deal

By Mike Brezonick28 May 2020

It looks like Navistar’s IC Bus manufacturing operation is still OK – as in, still in Oklahoma.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and IC Bus announced that a new 20-year agreement has been reached to keep the IC manufacturing facility at Tulsa International Airport.

“This agreement establishes a win-win partnership between the City of Tulsa and IC Bus for decades to come,” Bynum said. “The industry leader in school bus manufacturing will have a home to build products that are trusted all around the world, while local jobs are secured and the taxpayers’ facility is properly maintained for the long term. I am excited for the future of IC Bus in Tulsa.”

The nearly mile-long, 1 million sq. ft. plant produces, at its peak, approximately 75 school buses a day.

“We’d like to thank Mayor Bynum for his personal involvement in resolving these negotiations,” said Phil Christman, president of Operations for Navistar International Corp., IC Bus’s parent company. “Thanks to his leadership, we have a decades-long framework to stay, invest and grow the IC Bus plant and our supply chain in Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma.

“Tulsa is a great community with a talented workforce. We’re very pleased to be remaining in Tulsa and look forward to keeping it what it is today – the school bus capital of the world.”

According to the city of Tulsa, the agreement with IC Bus will retain the following economic benefits to Tulsa:

– Jobs for more than 1600 employees that provide annual direct income of more than $60 million annually. The average team member has worked at the plant for 6.5 years.

– The IC Bus plant spends $750 million each year on vendors and suppliers, including more than 100 Oklahoma-based businesses.

– An IC Bus supplier, IMMI, is building a 45,000 sq. ft. greenfield manufacturing plant, specializing in the manufacturing of seating systems, in Tulsa to support the assembly of school buses at the IC Bus Plant.

The new lease prioritizes current and long-term investments in plant maintenance and improvements and creates an automatic process for establishing a multi-year investment program every five years of the lease.

The agreement ends what had been a contentious battle between the city and the company that became public in early May when Navistar went public, claiming the city had threatened to evict IC Bus from its facility 20 years into a 40-year lease.


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