Stuttgart/Redford/Tokyo – DaimlerChrysler has announced today that the first commercial vehicle resulting from its new optimization program “Global Excellence” will be introduced mid-year 2006. Sterling, a unit of DaimlerChrysler’s Freightliner LLC North American truck unit, will expand its product line-up with the introduction of a low cab-over-engine truck developed in partnership with DaimlerChrysler’s Japanese truck unit, Mitsubishi Fuso. The new mid-range truck is based upon a recently introduced Mitsubishi Fuso platform and opens up a new market segment for Sterling.
Andreas Renschler, the DaimlerChrysler Board of Management member responsible for the Commercial Vehicles Division said: “This new product extension is tangible evidence of our ability to leverage our global span by bringing exciting, new products to markets with modest developemental investments. This forms the basis of our commitment to develop our product strategy on a global basis going forward.”
The new low cab-over-engine truck will be available through select Sterling dealerships across North America by mid-2006. It will appeal strongly to traditional Sterling customers in retail and wholesale distribution, and urban vocational markets, complementing the successful Acterra, Condor, and L- and A-Line models already offered. Further development of mid-range offerings is also planned for subsequent introductions.
“Adding a truck that covers classes 3, 4, and 5 to the Sterling line-up is a logical next step in the growth of our business because it enables us to be a full-line provider of professional work trucks,” said John Merrifield, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sterling Truck Corporation. “Mitsubishi Fuso is a well-respected company with a great reputation for producing outstanding vehicles, and we look forward to working together. The technology used in these vehicles is acknowledged to be world class, in keeping with the Sterling brand’s reputation, and is already familiar to the North American marketplace.”
“The cooperation with Sterling is a true win-win situation. We are very pleased to join forces to seize this new business opportunity while we continue to pursue our successful operations in North America under the Mitsubishi Fuso brand and its network,” added Bert van Dijk, Mitsubishi Fuso Senior Vice President of International Sales and Service. “In addition, the dealer networks will complement each other geographically.”
Founded in 1997, Sterling already is well-positioned in the medium- and heavy-duty markets with a wide array of vocational applications from on-highway LTL and regional haul to construction and refuse. Sterling’s hard-working trucks are distinguished by outstanding dependability, performance, and customization.
In North America, Mitsubishi Fuso is one of the leaders in the competitive cab-over-engine market and well known as one of premium brands. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA), Inc., was founded in 1985 in New Jersey and markets a complete line of class 3 to 7, diesel-powered, cab-over trucks including crew-cab and 4x4 models through more than 170 dealer locations throughout the U.S and Canada. MFTA has delivered over 80,000 Mitsubishi Fuso trucks, fulfilling the transportation needs of a wide variety of businesses and industries.
Sterling Truck Corp. is a division of Freightliner LLC, a DaimlerChrysler company in the Commercial Vehicles Division. Mitsubishi Fuso is a fully consolidated subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler AG, which owns 85 % of Mitsubishi Fuso shares.