Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has announced the launch of a Light Commercial Vehicle Team, combining Sterling Truck Corp.’s Class 3-5 lines with Mitsubishi Fuso’s low cab-over engine (LCOE) operations in North America.
The new operation will be based in Redford, MI. It will focus on sales, marketing, product strategy and distribution of the Sterling 360, Sterling Bullet and Mitsubishi Fuso Class 3-7 LCOE trucks.
"This business model, which leverages DTNA's extensive capabilities and expertise, is consistent with other Daimler units globally," said Chris Patterson, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America. "With its considerable resources and expanded coverage, this new team will strengthen DTNA's presence in the growing light commercial vehicle market in North America."
The new group will develop business with nearly 400 dealers—those that represent the Mitsubishi Fuso brand and the select Sterling dealers that sell the Sterling 360 and Bullet. Matthew Stevenson, previously director of the Sterling Light Commercial Vehicle group, will head the team.
Stevenson told Fleet Owner that the Dodge Sprinter would not be a part of the new unit.
“The Sprinter is neither a Fuso or Sterling product and the distribution of the Sprinter is currently being handled by the Chrysler group for both the Dodge and Freightliner dealers,” he said.
James Carney, executive director, National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA), viewed the realignment favorably.
“Change is continuous in the work truck industry,” he told FleetOwner. “Anything that strengthens the ability of Sterling Truck Corporation and Mitsubishi Fuso to continue to deliver quality products to the market more efficiently is a positive.”
The 2008 model year Fuso FE medium-duty trucks, first introduced in June, include the new Class 3 FE125, the lightest duty Fuso vehicle; the Class 4 FE145; and the Class 5 FE180. The Fuso FK/FM series, equipped with the Fuso 6M60 7.5 L 6-cylinder diesel engine, features the Class 6 FK200, Class 6 FK260 and the Class 7 FM330 models. The company also plans to introduce Class 4 crew cab and 4WD models in the fall of 2008.
The latest Sterling offering, the Class 4/5 chassis-cab Bullet, began production and arrived at dealerships in November. The truck is aimed at construction, utility, residential services, landscaping, municipal services and P&D, the company said.