Daimler Trucks’ Inspiration
LAS VEGAS -- What happens in Las Vegas is supposed to stay in Las Vegas, but that certainly not the case with Daimler Trucks' recently introduced Inspiration Truck. It's the autonomous commercial vehicle that has taken the world by storm. Literally. Daimler Trucks invited more than 200 journalists from four continents to cover the event, and stories have appeared in over 500 newspapers and on TV news shows all over the globe. Today's Trucking was there too, of course. And we had our chance to ride in the truck. We were not allowed to drive it at this event because it requires some driver certification, which there wasn't time to procure. We did come back from the launch event with this video of our test drive, with Equipment Editor Jim Park in the right-hand seat.
Daum Reaches the Pinnacle
I'm writing this issue of the newsletter in absentia, so to speak, as it will be published while I'm away from computers and unable to stay in touch. To be more precise, I'm a week early in posting this so forgive me if giant events occur between now and the 22nd and they're not covered here. Then again, this report isn't intended as a news vehicle.
DTNA appoints Roger Nielsen as president, CEO
PORTLAND, OR - Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has named Roger Nielsen as president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DTNA and its affiliate companies Freightliner Trucks, Western Star Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis Cooperation, and Detroit Diesel Corporation effective April 1. Nielsen will be succeeding Martin Daum, who as of March 1, became Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses. "Roger Nielsen brings a rock solid product, manufacturing and sales background to this position paired with a razor-sharp focus on technology, quality and customer service. He has an excellent track record as an influential leader in the industry," said Daum. "Having worked closely with Roger for so many years, I am certain that DTNA, its people and all its brands are in the best hands."
Daum replaces Bernhard as Daimler Trucks chief
STUTTGART, GERMANY - Martin Daum will lead Daimler Trucks and Daimler buses as a member of the board of management effective March 1, the company has announced. The appointment is for five years. Daum has been president and Chief Executive Officer of Daimler Trucks North America since 2009, overseeing Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis, and Detroit Diesel. Prior to that he was a member of the management team at Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Europe, and vice president - production for Mercedes-Benz Trucks, as well as being responsible for the world's biggest truck plant in Worth.
Freightliner, Altec equipment included in recalls
WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's latest vehicle recalls include the instrument clusters and turn signals on selected 2016/17 Freightliner Business Class M2, 108SD and 114SD trucks, as well as telescoping aerial devices from Altec Industries.
Mexico a “land of opportunity”, says Daimler’s Kurschner
PUERTO VALLARTA, MX - In a year when dealers in Canada and the U.S. face a dramatic downturn in truck sales, Mexico is a world apart. As of November the market for Class 4-8 vehicles was up 18.5%, and Daimler Trucks North America accounted for 36% of it -- up 7.8% over last year. But Stefan Kurschner, president and Chief Executive Officer of Daimler Vehiculos Comerciales Mexico, says there's room for more.
A reluctant (but rising) star
Metro Truck Group seems surprisingly reluctant to tell its story. When a meeting is finally scheduled, senior managers spend much of their time explaining that they don't normally do this sort of thing. The Freightliner dealership group based in Ontario's Niagara Region rarely participates in interviews. When its Brantford dealership moved into a new building this winter, it even did so without the fanfare of a grand opening. No ribbons were cut. No speeches made. But there is no escaping the spotlight of a reality show.
Sir Paul Gets ’em Trucking at Freightliner Concert
PHILADELPHIA, PA - One of the two last surviving members of the Beatles proved you are never too old for rock and roll or trucking. Sir Paul McCartney wowed around a thousand people during the annual Freightliner dinner and concert on Monday night held during the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition that wrapped up Tuesday in Philadelphia, PA.
Behind the Wheel of Freightliner’s Autonomous Truck
LAS VEGAS, NV -- Sometimes, trucking journalists like me do very funny things. Like getting certified to drive a truck that can pretty much drive itself. Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) took a few trucking reporters to Las Vegas earlier this week so they could drive the Freightliner Inspiration autonomous truck, introduced in North America earlier this year. The prerequisite to sit behind the self-steering wheel of the Inspiration was to hold a commercial driver's license. Fortunately, I got one a dozen years ago, otherwise, I would have missed what was waiting for me at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There were the two trucks at the event. Jim Martin, one of the few Freightliner engineers certified to drive the autonomous truck, would certify six trucking journalists, reminding us that nobody ever passed the test before.
Freightliner Inspiration Truck Unveiled at Hoover Dam
LAS VEGAS, NV - In a spectacular evening presentation at Hoover Dam last night, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) unveiled the Freightliner Inspiration Truck to several hundred international news media, trucking industry analysts, and officials. It's the first licensed autonomous commercial truck to operate on an open public highway in the United States. Developed by engineers at DTNA and Daimler Trucks in Germany, and of course borrowing much from the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck introduced last year, it promises advancements that reduce accidents, improve fuel consumption, cut highway congestion, and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.