WARRENVILLE, Ill. (April 24, 2009) – In a two-for-two victory, Navistar took home the gold during this week’s annual American Truck Dealers (ATD) Convention and Exposition in Washington, D.C. The International® LoneStar® was named “ATD Commercial Truck of the Year,” while Richard “Dick” Sweebe, dealer principal of the International Truck dealership, Diamond Companies, was named “ATD Dealer of the Year.”
International LoneStar: 2009 ATD Commercial Truck of the Year
Judged by a panel of journalists from leading truck publications in North America, the International LoneStar was selected the inaugural ATD Commercial Truck of the Year based on a number of criteria, including design, innovation, cab quietness and space utilization. It beat out the Freightliner Cascadia, Kenworth T660, Mack Titan, and Peterbilt Model 386.
“We’re excited about LoneStar being named ATD Truck of the Year,” said Dee Kapur, president, Navistar truck group. “Since the earliest stages of development, we were confident we had a winning truck unlike anything else on the road. Drivers don’t have to compromise with the LoneStar. They can have it all — looks, efficiency, comfort, functionality and productivity.”
With a striking, aerodynamic appearance and breakthrough functional innovations inside and out, the International LoneStar is the result of extensive customer research and automotive-inspired design – a new truck that changes the game for today’s trucking professional.
It creates a new category of Class 8 trucks called “Advanced Classic,” in which technology and innovative styling converge with next-generation aerodynamic design to deliver superior fuel efficiency. LoneStar also sets a higher standard for comfort – through improved ergonomics, an industry-leading suspension, advanced electronics and a whisper-quiet cab.
Richard Sweebe: ATD Truck Dealer of the Year
Just as the LoneStar challenges convention and embodies leadership and innovation, so too does Richard “Dick” Sweebe, president and CEO of Diamond Companies and 2009 ATD Truck Dealer of the Year. Sweebe was one of six nominees considered for this prestigious award. A panel of professors from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business judged the candidates based on three main areas: business excellence; industry participation; and outstanding civil accomplishments.
“ATD Truck Dealer of the Year is one of the highest honors in the industry,” said Jim Hebe, Navistar senior vice president, North American sales operations. “This award confirms what we at International have known for a long time — Dick Sweebe is one of the best and brightest in this industry. We’re proud that he’s been named Dealer of the Year and proud that he’s an International dealer.”
Judges evaluate business success through the dealership’s market performance in merchandising new and used tucks, part and service as well as the complexity of the business. In addition, individual leadership is taken into account, determined by the impact the nominee has had on his or her dealership by implementing innovative programs and policies or other unique contributions.
The Dealer of the Year must exhibit industry leadership and active participation with the franchise dealer organization and fellow dealers. Candidates must have an active record of service and demonstrate integrity beyond their business.
Finally, judges look for the nominees’ leadership and contributions to the many communities served outside of the business environment — from civic and political involvement, charitable organizations and community advocacy, and family.
“Dick Sweebe has gone far beyond running a solid business,” said Kate Miller, vice president and group publisher, Newport Communications. “As Truck Dealer of the Year, Dick’s story is a testament to his commitment, strategic vision and perseverance.”
From innovative employee reward programs, responsibility-sharing initiatives and employee-focused management systems, day-in and day-out, Sweebe demonstrates a commitment to employee motivation, leadership and development. Sweebe’s leadership approach is grounded in giving to others the opportunities he was given early in his career. He’s eager to help his fellow dealers, recognizing that so many dealers have helped him along the way.
Sweebe began his career with International Harvester fresh out of college. In 1982, with the help of an International program called Dealcor, he opened his first dealership, Mid-America International Trucks, Inc.
As an industry leader, Sweebe has held numerous positions of responsibility in organizations, including dealer councils and trucking associations. His entrepreneurial leadership has helped grow his dealership from $20 million to more than $220 million in revenue. His dealership has expanded its workforce from 56 employees to more than 600 with 17 facilities in 12 cities and four states.
Sweebe attributes much of the company’s success to the work ethic he learned while growing up on a farm in Ohio. Sweebe and his wife, Bobbi Jo, now live in Memphis, Tenn. He is a member of the Emmanuel United Methodist Church. He has also been a member of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce since 1982. Sweebe is the chairman of the public safety committee for the Memphis Airport Area Development Corp.
Over the years, Sweebe has earned several awards, winning the Navistar Financial President’s Award 15 times and the International Circle of Excellence Award 16 times. Sweebe’s dealership has been awarded the top-level award for excellence across all departments, International Diamond Standards, eight out of eight years.
Founded in 1970, the ATD (American Truck Dealers) division of the National Automobile Dealers Association is the only organization representing dealers selling new medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the United States. More than 2,200 members of ATD receive full association services from NADA.
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose wholly owned subsidiaries produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, IC Bus brand school and commercial buses, and Workhorse® brand chassis for motor homes and step vans. It also is a private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. The company also provides truck and diesel engine parts and service. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com/newsroom.
Media contacts: Steve Schrier, 630-753-2264
Investor Contact: Heather Kos, 630-753-2406
Web site: www.Navistar.com/newsroom