When Teddy Roosevelt wanted to project the United States as an emerging world power a hundred years ago, he sent 16 new battleships-- all painted white-- and their escorts on an around-the-world cruise that over 14 months and some 43,000 miles made 20 port calls on six continents.
Now that was showmanship. Unfortunately, such grand gestures as the "Great White Fleet," as it became known, won't carry the day anymore. TR was out to show the world that the U.S. Navy was capable of operating anywhere and history tells us he succeeded.
Teddy's big show came to mind when I read about another big fleet that's been launched. But this one is out to demonstrate the width and breadth of an OEM's latest truck lineup.
Peterbilt didn't dub its project the Greet Pete Fleet but, hey, they sure could have. They opted to call it the "Models of Innovation" demonstration program and it is one massive show-and-tell.
Pete calls the program "an unprecedented campaign designed to provide existing and prospective customers the ability to test and evaluate a new 2008 model-year Peterbilt in the customers‘ operation."
The 130- unit fleet comprised of every '08 Pete model, including aerodynamic," traditional," vocational and medium-duty trucks, will be distributed throughout the OEM's US/Canada dealer network.
“Peterbilt‘s ‘Models of Innovation‘ demonstration program will let our customers witness first-hand the company‘s broad lineup of trucks equipped with the latest technologies enhancing fuel economy and driver comfort. They are built to exceed our customers‘ expectation for the best in class quality, styling and low cost of operation,” noted Bill Jackson, Peterbilt gm.
Given the proliferation across the industry of entirely new truck models as well as variants--- many developed especially due to changes wrought by new emissions regs-- it would in my opinion be a smart move by all OEMs to copy this stratgey right out of the Peterbilt playbook.
Let the fleets roll!