Photo: Neil Abt/Fleet Owner
The new telematics-based lease option from Daimler Trucks Financial will align billable miles to lease payments.

Daimler offers pay-as-you-drive lease, unveils new DD15 engine

Oct. 29, 2019
New e-commerce platform among other announcements as company preps for the updated 2020 Cascadia to hit the road.

ATLANTA – Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) introduced what it called the industry’s first telematics-based, pay-as-you-drive leasing program. 

During its press event at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show, DTNA also unveiled the next generation, heavy-duty Detroit DD15 Gen 5 engine and a new e-commerce platform called Excelerator. 

These announcements tied together DTNA’s massive exhibit booth, which showcased the manufacturer’s entire product lineup. That included multiple electric truck models to be offered early in the next decade nd the updated 2020 Freightliner Cascadia, offering the first Level 2 safety systems available with the Detroit Assurance 5.0 safety system and up to a 5% fuel efficiency gain over the previous model. 

The new item that received the most attention was not a physical product, but instead the new telematics-based offering for vehicle financing from Daimler Truck Financial. The service will become operational during the first quarter of 2020 and will align billable miles to lease payments. 

The lease “allows customers to personalize their truck financing based on their utilization,” said Roger Nielson, DTNA’s president and CEO. 

“The Dynamic Lease offers our customers an incredible amount of flexibility to manage their business and is a great complement to our other products,” said Tobias Waldeck, head of Daimler Truck Financial.  

Waldeck said the leases will generally run 48-60 months, and there will be a minimum monthly payment rolled together with variable pricing, based on billable miles. 

Initially, it will only be offered with the Cascadia spec’d with Detroit engines, but it is expected to be expanded to other models in the future. 

Also at the press event, Daimler showed the DD15 Gen 5 engine for the first time. It will be available starting in January 2021, and Nielson said it will offer more efficient combustion, further increasing fuel economy and reducing carbon emissions. 

In the aftermarket space, DTNA said Excelerator, the company’s new e-commerce platform, will link dealer management systems to streamline the parts ordering process and improve fulfillment times.

Stefan Kurschner, senior vice president of aftermarket, said about 20% of parts are being ordered electronically, and that figure is certain to grow. If a desired part is available at a dealership, it could be picked up in as little as two hours. 

Regardless of how well trucks are built, it is “inevitable at some point they will need service,” said Kurschner. 

As part of the push to get customers back on the road within 24 hours, the company is rolling out Guided Diagnostics for the DTNA Techlane app, a streamlined pre-authorization process and a Voice App for technicians.

These steps could help turn what may otherwise be an overnight service event into only a four-hour downtime event, said Kurschner.

In addition, a new One Stop program launching in November is aimed at eliminating variations in claim processing requirements and procedures for customers and dealers when filing for supplier extended coverage programs for parts. 

Among the company’s other announcements:

  • Advancements with the Detroit Connect platform include a smart alert system that identifies and classifies various fault events by the level of fleet and driver response required.
  • Over-the-air remote updates, available since early 2018 for the new Cascadia, will be complemented in 2020 with firmware over the air, giving fleets and drivers independence when and where they handle the updates.
About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

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