Text of letter from Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry to Navistar CEO Daniel Ustian, dated Monday:
Dear Mr. Ustian:
Making the best trucks in the world is imprinted on the DNA of Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is what we do. It is a part of our history and the invincible spirit of our people – people who quietly and steadily strive for excellence, thrive on hard work and innovation, and exemplify all that is good about our great country.
Fort Wayne is where America works and works well. It is where Navistar has prospered. I am convinced it is where the company needs to be. And I know it is where the company can continue to flourish. Let me tell you why.
Fort Wayne is a place where Navistar can grow. We know trucks. For well over 80 years, we’ve designed and built Navistar trucks to perfection. Those abilities are supported by an exceptionally talented and loyal workforce that is woven into the fabric of our community. Those employees are backed up by first-rate colleges and universities with specialized academic programs to sustain and enhance their performance and this industry. Those schools are ready partners in promoting Navistar’s competitive stance and in anticipating the future. The synergies here are many.
We’ve made this area a nexus for advanced manufacturing. We know this is our strength, and we invest in its progress. We are equipped technologically to support the emerging essentials of the sector. Recognizing that unique assets such as Navistar’s test track must have room to breath, we also have the open spaces right here for expansion.
This community is determined to help Navistar succeed. Our area has long rallied behind Navistar, and we reaffirm our allegiance again. Elected officials, business and civic leaders, governmental agencies and our citizens have come together as a unified team to fight for an enduring Navistar presence in Fort Wayne. Our economic development organization, the Fort Wane-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, is leading the charge. Our singular priority is to find a way to keep Navistar’s Truck Design and Technology Center and its 1,000-plus exceptional jobs in our community. To make that happen, we are pledged to present you with an aggressive, responsive solution to your needs.
At the federal, state and local levels, our collective belief in Navistar’s potential has prompted the awarding of ongoing, substantive incentives. We continue to build the infrastructure we know you require. And our citizens are investing their tax dollars in Navistar and its workforce, just as Navistar has long invested in our region. Our relationship is mutually beneficial.
We are confident in Indiana’s distinctly attractive business environment – 12th overall and rising in the Tax Foundation’s 2010 Business Tax Climate Index for tax competitiveness, and best in the Midwest. Our state’s growing national reputation speaks for itself: This is a great place to do business.
Fort Wayne is a wonderful hometown for Navistar employees. We know the people of Navistar love it here because they tell us they do. They like the low cost of living, the short commute times, the central location and the big-city amenities wrapped in small-town charm.
They enjoy our award-winning parks and cultural activities, the renowned Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the unrivaled Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, and our brand-new Parkview Field, one of the finer downtown ballparks anywhere. But when it comes to business, the people
of Navistar champion Fort Wayne because it is a front-porch community that understands what it takes to be a world-class competitor. That means they are dedicated to making Navistar more profitable, even as they helped to make Fort Wayne a 2009 All-America City.
We realize that companies must continually make choices to preserve advantage or maintain the bottom line, and that these challenging times demand thoughtful decisions. We are sensitive to Navistar’s need to find the right and rewarding balance. Still, we believe that Fort Wayne is a place of opportunity for Navistar.
Please accept this invitation to join me for a meeting at your next possible convenience. I would welcome the chance to showcase the cost advantages of our community, our package of incentives and the many ways that Fort Wayne can help Navistar stay in the lead by keeping the Truck Design and Technology Center in Fort Wayne.
We are proud to have Navistar as part of our regional family. We know Navistar employees are proud to call Fort Wayne home. Our community is committed to Navistar and its success. From the storied decades of International Harvester to the creative Truck Design and Technology Center today, we know Fort Wayne is a place where Navistar can build for the future. Grow with us here in Fort Wayne.