Daimler AG's divestiture of Chrysler isn't impacting the commercial truck financing side of Daimler's business, according to Richard Howard, vp of Daimler Truck Financial. In fact, he believes the split and subsequent relocation of the Daimler Financial Services Americas headquarters, which includes his group, from Farmington Hills, MI, to Alliance, TX, will give the company a firmer footing.
“The separation [of Daimler and Chrysler] isn't causing a lot of impact,” he told Fleet Owner. “With the Dodge commercial segment going with Chrysler, our portfolio will drop from $7.5 billion to around $6 billion. That still allows us to carve out a sizable share of market, and the relocation to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area will bring us closer to our key dealerships and customers.”
Howard said the relocation will begin this summer and should be completed by the third quarter of 2008. And while he doesn't expect any “significant activity” to occur financing-wise for heavy trucks until at least the second half of this year, he thinks there will be a fair amount of medium-duty activity.
“The U.S. economy is definitely in a tough spot right now and the truck market is down, which makes it a good time to deal with the de-merger and move,” he said. “But we still see some good opportunity in the medium-duty market this year. We plan to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground, do our homework and go after it.”