DaimlerChrysler restructures truck operations

DaimlerChrysler Commercial Vehicles Div. is creating a new structure for its worldwide truck operations, effective January 1, 2004. Product planning, product development, procurement, and production strategy and planning for all truck brands owned by DaimlerChrysler will function under one global umbrella, the 4P Organization. The new unit will be headed by Dr. Gerard Weber, who is currently in charge

DaimlerChrysler Commercial Vehicles Div. is creating a new structure for its worldwide truck operations, effective January 1, 2004.

Product planning, product development, procurement, and production strategy and planning for all truck brands owned by DaimlerChrysler will function under one global umbrella, the 4P Organization. The new unit will be headed by Dr. Gerard Weber, who is currently in charge of the company's Powersystems Unit, which will be phased out as a separate entity.

In a press conference last month, Rainer Schmueckle, head of NAFTA Truck Operations, said that although one management team will oversee worldwide truck development, regional units, such as Freightliner, would retain control over their individual products. Freightliner engineering will remain in Portland, OR.

Schmueckle said that as part of the restructuring, Detroit Diesel, now part of DaimlerChrysler's Powersystems Unit, as well as other component businesses in the U.S., would become part of the NAFTA truck unit. Schmueckle added that with very few exceptions, Freightliner parts — including Detroit Diesel engines — will no longer be provided to outside companies.

In addition to the Freightliner nameplate, Schmueckle is also responsible for Sterling and Western Star.

The restructuring will not affect specialty vehicle units such as Sprinter Vans, Freightliner Custom Chassis and American LaFrance.

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