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Trailer, truck, & body OEMs

Rainer E Schmueckle, previously head of Business Unit Trucks NAFTA (Freightliner, Sterling, Thomas Built Buses) within the Commercial Vehicles Division as well as president and chief executive officer of the wholly owned DaimlerChrysler subsidiary Freightliner LLC, has been made chief operating officer of the Mercedes Car Group, effective April 15, 2005. Chris Patterson, previously senior vice-president-service and parts at Freightliner, will replace Schmueckle as head of Business Unit Trucks NAFTA as well as president and chief executive officer of Freightliner LLC.

Dick Giromini has been appointed executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Wabash National Corp. He was formerly Wabash National's senior vice-president and COO. Jerry Linzey, previously vice-president of manufacturing and continuous improvement, has been appointed senior vice-president of manufacturing. Fritz Schutte has been promoted to corporate treasurer after serving as assistant treasurer.

Stephen Clark is now Autocar's manager of sales operations after most recently working in engineering and quality control. Richard G Bout is the firm's new director of national accounts. He previously served in sales and service positions with several divisions of Federal Signal Corp's Environmental Products Group. Robert Strange is regional sales manager for Autocar's Southwest Region, which includes Hawaii. He comes from McNeilus Companies, where he was Western Region sales manager.

Charles W Hjerpe has been appointed district manager for Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc (MFTA). Hjerpe brings 24 years of truck-business experience to his new role and will be responsible for dealer relations in Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas. MFTA has appointed Tom R Hotham as its Central Region district sales manager. Hotham, who comes to MFTA from NADA/ATD, will be responsible for dealer relations in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Richard Ball has been named manager of Heil Environmental's Ready Truck program, and he is also responsible for Heil's vehicle demo program. Ball most recently served as market development manager.

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