Freightliner LLC announced the upcoming change of its corporate name to Daimler Trucks North America LLC. Effective January 7, 2008, this corporate identity will reflect the company's role as steward of several highly regarded brands in a number of different industry sectors, and its role as the North American presence of the world's largest commercial vehicle producer.
In parallel, the shareholders of the former DaimlerChrysler AG approved a corporate name change to Daimler AG at a special meeting on October 4. Freightliner LLC has been a part of Daimler AG or one of its predecessor companies since 1981.
A new Daimler logo was unveiled yesterday in Stuttgart and in Daimler business units worldwide, underscoring the company transformation which commenced with the divestiture of the former Chrysler Group (now Chrysler LLC) on August 3. At the same time, the name of the former DaimlerChrysler Truck Group was changed to Daimler Trucks.
Freightliner LLC, soon to be Daimler Trucks North America, manufactures, distributes, and services products under the nameplates Detroit Diesel, Freightliner Trucks, Freightliner Custom Chassis, Mercedes-Benz engines and transmissions, Sterling Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, and Western Star Trucks, and is a leader in each of the markets in which it competes.
In historical terms, the brands represented by Freightliner LLC have played an integral part in North American and global trucking for many years (brand inception dates noted): Mercedes-Benz (1926); Thomas Built Buses (1936); Detroit Diesel (1938); Freightliner (1942); Western Star (1967); Sterling (1998).
Elsewhere in the world, the company is affiliated with Mercedes-Benz Trucks, and Mitsubishi Fuso Trucks and Buses, each, in turn, leaders in their competitive arenas and part of the global Daimler Trucks division.
"Our business has changed dramatically in the past decade, and our name should reflect that reality," stated Chris Patterson, president and chief executive officer. "The transition occurring in our parent company presented us with the opportunity to stop and examine our own organization and position in the industry. The time is right to implement a name change that reflects both our global DNA and our broad responsibilities within the NAFTA region."
Company officials stress that existing operations, structure and brand strategies will not be affected. They also affirm that the name change will not impact dealer operations or supplier relationships. "We are confident and comfortable that our employees, dealers, customers, and suppliers will see this as a non-issue in their day-to-day operations," stated Patterson. "Our strength has always resided in the products we produce under our various nameplates and the services we provide," he added. "That won't change at all."