Navistar will make the cutaway version of General Motors' G Van at its Springfield, Ohio plant starting in the first half of 2017. The multi-year contract will require at least 300 workers and enable the truck maker to recommission the second line at the plant.

GM produces cutaway vans for commercial customers. Its Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans, a full-length on frame design, are supplied in chassis-cowl form for body builder to complete as utility and service vehicles, ambulance and rescue vehicles, shuttle buses and school buses. They're a common sight in the US and Canada as hotel and rental car airport shuttles or as small touring coaches.

Persio Lisboa, president, Navistar operations, said: "We've been preparing [Springfield] for a higher volume concentration of light- and medium-duty products as part of our manufacturing strategy."

"This partnership will provide our Wentzville, Missouri, assembly plant more flexibility to keep up with continued demand for mid-size trucks and full size vans," said Cathy Clegg, GM North America manufacturing and labour relations vice president.

The companies declind to provide further details of the agreement.

Navistar makes most of its DuraStar and WorkStar models at the Springfield plant. Last September, the two automakers announced a separate long-term agreement to develop and assemble a medium-duty, conventional cab Class 4/5 commercial vehicle at Springfield plant from 2018.

The models will be jointly developed using Navistar's expertise in rolling chassis configurations and manufacturing capabilities, and GM's commercial-grade components and engines. The trucks will be sold as both International and Chevrolet models and will see Navistar re enter the Class 4/5 market.