DETROIT -- Iveco Trucks of North America, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Italian carmaker Fiat's Iveco S.p.A., confirmed Monday it will pull out of the U.S. market by mid-1991 after 13 years because of intense competition.
Company spokesman Bill Eichner said the Blue Bell, Pa., distributors of medium-duty trucks was told of the decision late last week by Iveco, headquartered in Torino, Italy.
The decision to cease new truck sales was made because Iveco now markets only diesel- powered medium-duty trucks, when its competitors -- mostly Japanese nameplates, market a full range of gasoline and diesel trucks, Eichner said.
Iveco will no longer distribute its Italian-built 'Euro' product line in the United States, effective Dec. 31, 1991. It will continue to accept orders for those models until June 30, 1991.
Iveco spokesmen said it was not technically or economically feasible to continue a product line sold only in the United States, or to develop a new line for the U.S. market.
'The product that they are developing would have to be modified too much to meet U.S. standards,' Eichner said, adding that Iveco North America will continue to provide parts and service support for models sold in the United States for the next 10 years or so.
Iveco sold 1,442 trucks through the first seven months of 1990, up from 1,134 last year, industry figures show.
The company had slated a series of dealer meetings later this month to announce a sales incentive program to sell remaining 1990 models. Those meetings are still planned, Eichner said, but the main topic among Iveco's 160 U.S. dealers will concern the market withdrawal.
'I'm speechless,' Dave Busby, an Iveco dealer in San Diego, told trade publication Automotive News. 'They were saying they would have a full line and were serious about this market.'