Peter Emil Rupp, the former CEO of Freightliner Corp. and a major figure in the U.S. heavy-duty truck industry in the 1980s, was buried on March 29 in Oelsnitz, Germany. He died on March 19, 2006 in Wiesbaden, Germany after a long illness, just one month shy of his 76th birthday.
An Australian of German descent, Rupp took over the helm of Freightliner Corp. in 1982, one year after the company had been acquired by DaimlerChrysler (formerly DaimlerBenz). He took the company from a small manufacturer of Class 8 trucks with less than 8% of the total U.S. market to nearly an 18% market share before accepting an appointment as chairman, DaimlerBenz North America in 1988, a position he held until his retirement in 1990.
Rupp subsequently moved to Germany where he lived in Wiesbaden and became highly instrumental in the country's re-unification process. He worked with the Treuhand Gesellschaft for the economic progress of Germany's eastern provinces and became active in German politics.