A decade of coverage you counted on: Navistar leaves Fort Wayne

Decade in Review

For the past decade you have trusted WANE 15 for your local news coverage. Now we are taking a look back from 2010 to 2019 at the coverage you counted on.

This decade officially ended the International Harvester and Navistar era in Fort Wayne.

The company first came to Fort Wayne in 1923. At its peak, it was the highest employer in the region, employing more than 10,000 in 1979. That number dropped to less than 5,000 in 1982 when the assembly plant closed.

But in 2010, talk began that the long-time employer would be packing up and moving west. Workers held rallies and city leaders begged the company to stay. In the end, Navistar moved its headquarters to Lisle, Illinois, along with 1,400 jobs.

The company finally pulled the plug on the Fort Wayne operation in 2015 with the closing of its test track on Oxford Street.

Navistar was officially gone from Fort Wayne, but the legacy stayed.

For the first time, a homecoming event was planned to celebrate the company’s long history in Fort Wayne. The event was held in August 2019 and saw hundreds of classic trucks returned to the place they were built and thousands more fill the Scout Park Conference Center to marvel at the antiques.

Officials are planning another Harvester Homecoming in 2020 and are working on raising money to open a museum to educate younger generations.

Though the jobs are gone and the building still stands, the memory of the company remains for decades to come.

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