With its sales on an upward curve and with ambitious plans to expand production and introduce more new models, Iveco Brazil has launched the locally-built Trakker model after an intensive ten-month research and development project.

With sales on an upward curve and with ambitious plans to expand production and introduce new models, Iveco Brazil has launched the locally-built Trakker model after an intensive ten-month research and development project.

In terms of design the new Trakker follows the family look of Stralis and is available in three single cab versions, a horse-mechanical version with a wheelbase length of 3500 mm, and two platform types, with wheelbase length of 3500 and 4500 mm, all with 6x4 traction system. The Trakker's total weight is 41 tons, with a maximum load capacity of 132 ton.

The engine is the Cursor 13, a 6-cylinder of 12880 cc, with electronic direct injection system and four valves per cylinder. It is available with two levels of output, 380 and 420 hp. The gearbox is produced by ZF, and has 16-speeds plus two reverse.

Iveco invested R$ 8 million (€ 2,800,000) in the development of the new model, which will be produced in the factory located in the city of Sete Lagoas in Minas Gerais, the same state where the Fiat car unit is located. The Trakker development project took ten months, nine thousand hours and saw over 70,000 km of testing, performed in different types of ground and climatic conditions.

In relation to its competitors the Trakker uses a 13 litre engine, while the standard engine cubic capacity used in the market is 11 litres, which means greater durability and power, however, its level of fuel consumption is the lowest in the market, which shows the technology of Cursor engine.

The model can be used in different applications and market segments, such as mining, construction, wood, agriculture, particularly in the sector of alcohol production, which demonstrates its versatility and robustness. Iveco has operated in the segment of heavy duty off-road vehicles since 1993, and in 2004 launched Trakker model in the European market. Nowadays, it is sold in over a hundred countries, with more than 50,000 units sold up to now.

Brazilian Truck Market

The market for trucks in Brazil grew 30% from January up to September this year, however, Iveco achieved during the same period a growth rate of 130%. In 2006, Iveco had a market share of 3.9%, rising up to 4.9% in 2007, from January up to September of this year it has already achieved an 8% share of the market. The target for 2009 is 10% of the Brazilian market for trucks.

Iveco launched last year two new models, the Daily and Stralis, one year after their launch in Europe. In the same year, the Daily's participation in the market was 10%, and from January up to September it has already reached a market share of 25%, also being the leader in its segment in São Paulo, the biggest and most strongly contested market in Brazil. In relation to the Stralis, in 2007 its stake in the market was 14%, and from January up to September it reached the volume of 21% of total sales, being the leader in its segment in the past two months.

The segment of off-road heavy vehicles, categorised as those with over 340 hp, have an annual growth rate of 35% in Brazil, with an approximate volume of 3,500 units now sold a year. Iveco has ambitious plans to achieve a market share of 15 up to 20% of that market. The standard Trakker prices will start from R$ 165.000 (€ 469,000) up to R$ 494,000 (€ 175.000).

Iveco Brazil

Iveco opened its Centre of Development of Products this year in the city of Sete Lagoas next to its truck factory. The investment achieved an amount of R$ 30 million (€ 10,600,000), and it has a total area of 2,000 square meters of offices, and 2,200 square meters of workstation, prototyping, testing and laboratory facilities. There are 100 engineers and 240 technical employees at the centre, and a fleet of hundred vehicles for tests. The Centre in Sete Lagoas works together with the other six centres of development of Iveco located in Europe. One of its main areas of research is the development of engines that can use alternative fuels, such as alcohol and biodiesel.

According to the CEO of Iveco in Latin America, Mr. Marco Mazzu, despite of the world financial crisis Iveco intends to keeps to its investment plans in the country. In January 2009, Iveco will open its new factory for the production of heavy trucks in Brazil, and has plans to launch four new models up to 2010, two in each year of the next two years, in addition plans to extend its dealership’s network from the current 70 up to 100 units, also in 2010. Iveco plans to export its range of products to the following markets: Asia, Africa, Middle East and Australia. In Latin America, the main destinations will be Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and Chile.

by Claudio Perlini

© 2008 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed