Freightliner LLC president and CEO Jim Hebe declared war on third-party online truck-part exchanges at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas last month. Hebe described his ongoing battle with such sites over the past two years, and predicted many of those that haven’t failed to date, likely will.
“Mark my words, we’ll bury those bastards,” a passionate Hebe said as he introduced a trio of Internet services including Dream Machine (D-machine.com), Freightliner’s own Web-based catalog for ordering truck parts and accessories.
“These are the same breed of people who were not able to make Amazon.com successful,” he continued. “These are now the same people who think they’re going to make selling parts online successful. How are they going to get that [part] to that customer efficiently if it’s not through a dealer, travel centre, or distributor? .
“Someone told me an interesting story the other day. He said, ‘If you could drop something on your toe, the more it hurts, the less likely you’ll be able to sell it over the Internet.’ ” Dream Machine will be supported by Freightliner’s North American network of Freightliner, Sterling, and Western Star dealers, as well as through select TravelCenters of America truck stops, Hebe said.
“With an Internet exchange site, all [site owners] are interested in is their spread. They don’t care how they deliver [the product]. They don’t care what happens if it’s the wrong part, or how the parts return takes place. … They’ve come into the industry to try to compete with us, and from the beginning we’ve told them this dog isn’t going to hunt because we’re not going to let it. And it hasn’t worked because it’s not a viable business model.”
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