LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Freightliner LLC and Mercedes-Benz Credit Corp. (MBCC) announced several initiatives yesterday designed to help rebuild the North American heavy-duty used truck industry at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The multi-pronged endeavor is intended to effect structural changes within the used truck industry, with the goal of returning value to used trucks and returning equity to heavy-duty truck owners.
"The initiatives build on innovative used truck programs Freightliner has already developed with MBCC, or, in some cases, add revolutionary new programs never before seen in the used truck business," said James L. Hebe, president and CEO of Freightliner. "We are tackling head-on the problems that are plaguing the used truck business and destroying used truck values." According to Hebe, Freightliner's initiatives are designed to increase available capital for used truck customers, expand the used truck customer base, increase the model diversity within the used truck inventory and create additional retail distribution outlets for the industry's inventory of used trucks. The initiatives include the formation of the FASTruck Division of Mercedes-Benz Credit, a joint finance operation between the two companies. Hebe said the new operation, which will be based in Lisle, Ill., is dedicated to serving qualified, first-time owner-operators and other customers who do not fit the typical borrowing profile of finance companies. FASTruck will provide financing for qualified customers of Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star dealers, as well as for special program trucks financed through SelecTrucks, Freightliner LLC's used truck division. "One of the leading causes of the current used truck crisis is a lack of available credit for qualified first-time buyers or other established truckers who have credit availability issues," Hebe said. "There are people out there wanting to enter the trucking business, or, who would like to trade up to later model used trucks, but they can't find the financing.” Hebe said few finance companies are left who are really committed to helping these potential buyers. He said FASTruck will make financing available in this market segment and work closely with each buyer to ensure the highest chance of success. In addition to FASTruck, Hebe announced the opening of used truck retail remarketing centers, a new purchase program for used truck buyers, extension of used truck refurbishing and reconfiguration initiatives, and the expansion of Freightliner’s SelecTrucks network of used truck outlets.