Just a few years ago, International was making a huge splash building and selling gargantuan trucks to the common man — who had at least $90,000 to spend. Then this thing happened with the economy, winds changed and no one wants to park a nearly semi-sized International in their McMansion driveway.
“These trucks were always seen as niche products,” International spokesman Jon Harmon said. He pointed to a combination of fuel prices and market forces as the reason for discontinuing the three models.
Mike Hanley and I test-drove an MXT a few years ago, and overall we were surprised at just how easy it was to handle for non-truckers like us. The company had made a splash with some celebrities purchasing its vehicles. Many buyers used them as corporate promotional items, and we saw one at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show decked out in Chicago Bears colors and logos.
International is now focusing on its larger truck business, including the Lonestar semi, as well as military versions of the XT trucks. We just wish the company would build the DMAXX concept from the 2008 Chicago Auto Show.