IC school buses will continue to roll off the production line near the Tulsa International Airport in Oklahoma for at least the next 20 years.
Parent company Navistar announced it agreed with the City of Tulsa to a lease renewal for its mile-long, 1-million-square-foot facility. The city had asked for $28 million over the next decade as well as various maintenance upgrades it asserted IC Bus had fallen behind on. But the new lease returns the annual rent to $1, which the two sides originally agreed upon in 1999.
At the same time, the new lease memorializes the framework of necessary, long-term maintenance upgrades to be performed by IC Bus as well as investments to be made by both the school bus manufacturer and the city, in increments of every five years.
“This agreement establishes a win-win partnership between the City of Tulsa and IC Bus for decades to come,” said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum in a statement. “The industry leader in school bus manufacturing will have a home to build products that are trusted all around the world, while local jobs are secured and the taxpayers’ facility is properly maintained for the long term. I am excited for the future of IC Bus in Tulsa.”
The OEM provides a total of $60 million in annual income to its 1,600 plant workers and spends $750 million annually with vendors and suppliers that support more than 100 local businesses.
“We’d like to thank Mayor Bynum for his personal involvement in resolving these negotiations,” said Phil Christman, president of operations for Navistar. “Thanks to his leadership, we have a decades-long framework to stay, invest and grow the IC Bus plant and our supply chain in Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma. Tulsa is a great community with a talented workforce. We’re very pleased to be remaining in Tulsa and look forward to keeping it what it is today – the school bus capital of the world.”
As previously reported, IC Bus said it has already invested over $140 million in the plant, including $48 million over the last five years. An additional $1.5 million is spent on maintenance alone.
IC Bus normally produces 75 school buses a day at its Tulsa plant, a figure that has dropped slightly over the past month due to supply chain issues that arose from the COVID-19 health crisis.
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