By Oscar Ruiz
Manager, Escobedo Assembly Plant
In Mexico, most children play soccer in elementary school. Every match begins with the “captains” taking turns calling who they want on their teams. I was always the last one to get picked. It was like, okay, who takes Oscar? I laugh when I say that’s why I’m an engineer – because I’ve never been good at sports. Building trucks is my passion and reimagining how to deliver what matters is my purpose. That’s why I love my job.
I’ve been with Navistar for eight years, and I'm responsible for the operations here in Escobedo, Mexico. When you visit our plant, you’ll see more than 4,000 people working together to assemble pieces and parts into a 9.5-ton truck designed to deliver what most people see as freight, or goods. But what I see is our employees working together toward a higher purpose, knowing what they do – every part, every step, every time – matters. A lot. Not only for our plant to be successful, but also for our customers to be able to deliver the things that are essential for life.
We recognize that by helping people and the planet, we make a better world for ourselves and those we love. So we’re reimagining how to do all of this in the most sustainable way possible.
Navistar is developing transportation ecosystems to optimize trucks powered by electricity and hydrogen fuel cells. Our facilities have reduced greenhouse gas emissions from energy use and operations by 50% between 2008 and 2018. And we’re looking at new ways to add renewable energy to run our facilities and reduce absolute CO2 emissions.
Here in Escobedo, our plant is a zero-wastewater discharge plant. And we’re planting trees – 200 of them this year! In 10 years you’ll have to walk through a little forest to get to the front door.
We care about our community. Very much. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we assembled a WorkStar® truck to sanitize the main streets and neighborhoods of Escobedo, using spreaders to apply eight thousand liters of sanitizer. And our employees delivered 277 food baskets to families in need.
We are reimagining our impact not just in Escobedo, or Mexico, or North America, but also in the world as we are now part of TRATON, a global champion of the truck and transport services industry. I really think this is the best moment for Navistar. The future is brilliant. We’re going to grow our business, our footprint and partnerships, and our valued employee base.
These are the kinds of things I think about when I describe what it means to reimagine how to deliver what matters.
What does it mean to our people, to be part of a purpose-driven company? You can talk to anybody on the line at Escobedo and they will tell you why their work matters, why it’s important. Just to give an example, there is one harness that powers the instrument panel, and you hear a click when it is properly connected. And you have to hear that click to make sure it’s right. Our employees know what happens if they don’t make the proper connection on that harness. If they don’t hear that click. That’s the difference between a trailer delivering cold milk on time to the people who need it, and that trailer sitting in the middle of the hot desert until the harness can be repaired.
Delivering what matters goes beyond delivering a truck. We are delivering a guarantee that every person here – from the design offices to the plant floor – comes to work each day to assemble more than a truck; we’re here to assemble a legacy – commercial vehicle solutions that help you deliver what matters. That’s our one and only goal.
At the Escobedo plant it's as simple as this. When our employees recognize the value of what they do and why it matters to the end customer, and how we work together as a team to earn our customers’ trust, they say “I'm with you, Oscar! I'm going to do my very best to make it perfect the first time, every time.”
This is the team for me. This is why I love my job.