Freightliner changes the guard

Freightliner changes the guard

Freightliner changes the guard

<i>Rainer Schmueckle (L) and Chris Patterson (R) at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, last week.</i>

After successfully restructuring North America's largest commercial vehicle manufacturing operation, Rainer Schmueckle, 45, has been promoted from president & CEO of Freightliner LLC to chief operating officer (COO) of the Mercedes Car Group. DaimlerChrysler AG, parent firm of both operations, announced the appointment, which is effective April 15.

Named to succeed Schmueckle in the Freightliner post was Chris Patterson, 50, previously senior vp, service & parts for Freightliner LLC. According to DaimlerChrysler, he will replace Schmueckle as head of Business Unit Trucks NAFTA (Freightliner, Sterling, Thomas Built Buses) within the Commercial Vehicles Div, of DaimlerChrysler, serving also as president & CEO of Freightliner LLC. In this position, Patterson will head the North American business unit of DaimlerChrysler's commercial vehicles division and will report to Andreas Renschler, who heads of that division.

Following a 14-year stint at Canadian Kenworth Co., Patterson became president of Freightliner of Canada Ltd. in 1992. In 1996, he was named senior vp of sales & marketing with Freightliner in Portland, OR. After holding the position of executive vice president of sales and marketing with Volvo Trucks North America from 1997 to 2001, Patterson rejoined Freightliner in 2002, where he was senior vp of service & parts until this promotion.

In his new role at Mercedes Car Group, turnaround expert Schmueckle will be responsible for production, procurement and information technology for that global automotive business unit.

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