LOUISVILLE, Ky – Arguing that a significant recovery of the new truck market can’t happen until the used truck crisis has been resolved, Freightliner LLC president and CEO Jim Hebe has announced several initiatives designed to rebuild the North American heavy-duty used truck industry.
And one of those initiatives calls for putting people behind the wheel of a used truck that would not have otherwise been able to get credit from existing lending institutions.
According to Hebe, Freightliner is implementing the multi-pronged initiative along with the help of Mercedes-Benz Credit Corp. It is aimed at increasing available capital for used truck customers, expanding the used truck customer base, increasing the model diversity within the used truck inventory and creating additional retail distribution outlets for used trucks.
Hebe announced six initiatives.
The first involves the creation, in partnership with Mercedes Benz Credit Corp., of a new finance operation. Called FASTruck, the new operation will look to help out first-time owner/operators whose credit rating wouldn’t be up to the standards of other lending institutions.
Hebe also vowed that FASTruck wouldn’t charge exorbitantly high rates to these higher-risk truck owners, as would be typical with other financing institutions.
The second initiative will establish a network of remarketing centres across North America. The new retail system will be targeted at rapidly returning trucks to the market returned to Mercedes Benz Credit as off-lease vehicles and repossessions.
Other parts of the plan include, working with Mercedes Benz Credit to secure higher loan amounts for established owner/operators and small fleet owners; two purchase programs for O/Os: The Power to Succeed and SelectOne; expanded use of used truck refurbishing and reconfiguring operations; looking at Canada to address the problem of the high U.S. exchange rate; and expand its SelecTrucks used truck network, to 60. n
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