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October 31, 2018 Vol. 15 No. 21

Wow, this has been a good year for truck sales, and it ain’t over yet.

Roger Nielsen, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, is forecasting class 6 through 8 truck sales of 440,000 for the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. “There were 330,000 deliveries through September, which is usually a very good year, but we still have two months to go,” Nielsen said during a round table discussion with journalists at the American Trucking Associations Annual Management Conference and Exhibition in Austin, Texas. “We’re going to have a strong year end.”

Nielsen discussed electrification, autonomy, the state of the economy, and the supply chain in the annual DTNA meeting at ATA. I couldn’t be there but my colleague Steve Bouchard, editor of our French-language magazine Transport Routier, was, so I’ll let him tell the tale.

“A lot is going on in the industry, and we continue to work on all propulsion technologies,” said Nielsen, who last week took part in the first meeting of the company’s Electric Vehicle Council. The manufacturer brought in 30 of their top customers who had a chance to drive electric vehicles in a process the company calls “co-creation, a way to bring products and features quicker to the market.”

“We spent a lot of time talking with customers about charging infrastructures and incentives,” Nielsen said.

Next week, Daimler will welcome some 60 government officials in Portland to discuss technology and innovation and see how they can help.

THE COMPANY RECENTLY ANNOUNCED that Penske Truck Leasing and NFI have agreed to partner in operating the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet of eCascadia heavy-duty trucks and eM2 106 medium-duty trucks for drayage activities from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to warehouses in California’s Inland Empire.

“We are excited to get them on the road and to learn what it takes to keep these vehicles running strong and well,” Nielsen said.

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Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to