Freightliner Trucks Announces Start of Business Class® M2 Production

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MOUNT HOLLY, N.C.…Freightliner Trucks has begun production of the new Business Class® M2 line of medium-duty and vocational trucks at the company's Mount Holly, N.C., Truck Manufacturing Plant.

Business Class M2 vehicles with 106-inch BBC (bumper-to-back-of-cab) configurations began rolling off the line in late June. The plant has ramped up its assembly lines over the summer to reach planned production rates. Mount Holly also is getting prepared for production of Business Class M2 Crew Cabs and Extended Cabs, starting in the fourth quarter. A 100-inch BBC model and a 112-inch BBC model will be available in 2003.

The Business Class M2 is a new line of Class 5-8 medium-duty and vocational trucks from Freightliner Trucks. Introduced to the public in February, the trucks are designed to give commercial truck operators unprecedented advantages in productivity and operational efficiency. The Business Class M2 succeeds Freightliner's successful Business Class product line, first introduced in 1991.

"We're very excited to have started production of the Business Class M2," said Mark Lampert, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Freightliner Trucks. "Customer response to the new truck has been extraordinary and we look forward to these trucks being in service and delivering benefits to commercial truck operators across North America.”

Freightliner will continue to produce various original Business Models as the new, successor models are brought on line, Lampert pointed out.

Freightliner's Mount Holly Truck Plant employs over 1,000 people in the production of Freightliner-brand medium-duty and vocational trucks.

Operational Advantages

Business Class M2 trucks offer a number of operational advantages and safety features -- from superior visibility through the 2,500-square-inch windshield to superb maneuverability and a tight turning radius provided by the up-to-55-degree front wheel cut. The driver-friendly cab is spacious and features a completely redesigned HVAC system to keep drivers comfortable and productive. Every component, such as the advanced multiplexed wiring system, is optimized for maximum performance and excellent reliability. Attention to detail is evident everywhere on the truck, from the rugged construction of the aluminum cab to the distinctive styling. "The Business Class M2 is easy to service and highly customizable," Lampert noted.

Standard power is the Mercedes-Benz MBE900 diesel engine - offered in 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder versions. The broad range of engine and transmission options includes Caterpillar engines as well as a range of Allison automatic transmissions and Mercedes-Benz and Eaton-Fuller manual transmissions. In addition, the Business Class M2 also features a clean back-of-cab frame, making it easier for bodybuilders to efficiently install their equipment.

Designed to Serve Many Markets

With its broad model range and versatility, the Business Class M2 can be used in numerous industries and commercial truck applications, including local and regional distribution, food & beverage delivery, fire and emergency services, fuel oil delivery, government services, towing & recovery, agriculture and many others.

Whatever their business, Business Class M2 customers can count on comprehensive customer support through the Freightliner Trucks dealer network, with many dealerships offering 24-hour service 7 days a week.

"We are confident that our customers will be delighted to own and operate their Business Class M2 trucks," Lampert said. "We believe the Business Class M2’s great looks, safety and performance advantages and bottom line benefits will be evident to truck drivers, fleet managers and business owners alike.”

Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner Trucks produces and markets Class 3-8 trucks and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

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