Navistar Review Rolls

Search Still On Amid Acquisition Rumblings
CHICAGO–Heavy-truck manufacturer Navistar International Corp. here said its search for an ad agency continues and is undeterred by reports that the company is an acquisition target of Volvo AB of Sweden.
Navistar earlier this month parted with Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago, saying it was looking for “increased staffing and a more strategic partnership.” The company was in the process of contacting agencies when reports surfaced last week that Volvo was interested in purchasing Navistar, which posted 1998 sales of $8 billion.
Company officials said the reports would not affect the search. The company has reportedly contacted eight agencies nationwide about its $6-7 million account.
“As far as we’re concerned, [the Volvo report] is just a rumor,” said Navistar representative Roy Wiley.
Officials from Volvo Trucks North America agency Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis said they have not heard from the Greensboro, N.C.-based company about a possible merger, but have offered their services for any resulting ad duties.
Both Navistar and Volvo Trucks embarked on high-profile ad campaigns last year.
Volvo Trucks aired its first-ever TV spot during the 1998 Super Bowl as part of its “Best Drive in the Game” contest and returned to the big game this year. Its 2-year-old tagline is “Drive smart.”
Navistar last fall broke its first national ad effort in 12 years with a campaign from O&M tagged, “Delivering. Beyond the expected.” Print executions ran in national newspapers and business magazines, and a TV spot aired during Monday Night Football.
Volvo in January agreed to sell its car division to Ford Motor Co. for $6.5 billion.