Freightliner widens vocational focus

Freightliner soups up vocational truck line for ride-and-drive event

LAS VEGAS. At a ride-and-drive event held here at the ConExpo-Con/Agg show, Freightliner LLC unveiled several enhancements to its vocational truck line and announced that it wants to build up its vocational market share to at least equal its share in the Class 8 over-the-road segment.

“We want to balance out the cyclical swings of the Class 8 market with a much greater presence in the steadier vocational segments,” said Alex Bernasconi, Freightliner’s vp-sales.

“We have 38.3% market share in the Class 8 segment and have reached 27.8% share in the medium segment,” he added. “The thing often missed is our vocational offerings and that’s a substantial element of our business. So we intend to provide a broader-based vocational line that can fit into more of the vocational niches in the construction, municipal, fire & rescue, towing & recovery, and refuse businesses.”

Bernasconi said Freightliner is increasing production of its heavy-duty FLD SD Class 8 vocational model, built in Santiago, Mexico, this April to keep up with market demand.

The company also unveiled new options available in July for its medium-duty Business Class M2-V product line, such as a new one-piece heavy-duty bumper, a hood access hatch for snowplow applications to allow for engine service without raising the hood, and an air-intake pre-cleaner to help extend the life of the primary air filter. A front-engine power take-off (PTO) can also now be spec’d without the need for frame rail extensions, he said.

Finally, an all-wheel drive option is coming for the M2-V line this year to better help Freightliner position itself as a “one-stop shop” for vocational customers, said John Randall, the company’s director of marketing.

“We aim to achieve the same market share position in the Class 6 to 7 vocational segment as we have in the Class 8 segment,” he said. “These improvements are going to help us get there.”

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