Daimler Trucks North America Unveils Freightliner and Western Star Vocational and On-Highway Segment Strategy

Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) announced to its Freightliner and Western Star dealers that it is reshaping its product strategy, and sales and marketing teams into a segment-based business structure. The move better positions DTNA to serve both the On-highway and Vocational segments in which Freightliner and Western Star brands compete by aligning internal resources to segment-specific customer needs.

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Building the Intelligent Company

by Lutz Beck, Chief Information Officer, Daimler Trucks North America

New opportunities and accelerated advancements in technology are changing businesses around the world in a drastic and dynamic manner.

The commercial vehicle manufacturing industry is no exception and developments such as autonomous driving, additive manufacturing, and artificial intelligence are integrating into the value chain in an effective and future-oriented way.

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), in partnership with Ginkgo Management Consulting, has developed a comprehensive IT strategy to drive their transformation towards the Intelligent Company.

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The Future is Electric

by Roger Nielson, President and CEO, Daimler Trucks North America

Today I was in Long Beach, a region with some of the most challenging air quality issues in North America.  I stood in front of the audience at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo proudly knowing that if my team drove our clean diesel, industry-leading Freightliners through the city, the air would be cleaner from our exhaust than the air they intake with the pollution. We will continue to engineer efficiencies across different technologies, but today I was there to confidently share my conviction that the road to emissions-free driving is going to be driven with battery electric vehicles.

52% of the trucks operated by the Top 100 fleets in America carry the Freightliner nameplate on the nose of the hood. That is three-quarters of a million trucks under the ownership of CEO’s like me. These are my largest customers. And, lately, these CEOs have a few questions for me, including: when will battery electric trucks be a viable choice for my fleet?

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The Freightliner new Cascadia: The Future is Now

by Kary Schaefer, General Manager, Product Marketing and Strategy

If you keep an eye out for new trucks—anywhere on the highways of North America—you’re bound to have noticed the sharp, distinctive lines of the new Cascadia, launched by Freightliner in 2017, but there’s a lot more to this truck than a killer chassis design. It’s packed to the gills with engineering innovation—the hallmark of Daimler Trucks North America—and loaded with cutting-edge breakthroughs in safety, fuel efficiency and connectivity. Today, we’re thrilled to announce a series of model-year 2020 enhancements to the new Cascadia, making it even safer, more efficient and better connected. Some of these innovations have never been seen in a class-8, on-highway truck, and others are more subtle, but together their impact is palpable.

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DTNA & PSU: Partners for Innovation

by Lori Heino-Royer, Director of Business Development

At Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), we’ve been immersed in innovation since our founding, when Gottlieb Daimler invented the commercial truck. Striving to achieve and perpetually maintain an innovative mindset is something that impacts our every move, but we’re not simply chasing means to ends. Even our finite goals are built on a determined strategy to continually set innovative industry benchmarks, and we think perpetual innovation demands unique approaches to problem-solving and collaboration. One of many ways we’re thinking outside the box is through our collaborative partnership with Portland State University (PSU).

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Along for the Ride: Life on the Road in a New Cascadia

by Bob Correll, Vice President of Sales, Freightliner Trucks

As vice president of sales for Freightliner, my job revolves around commercial trucks – all day, every day – as it has for years. Most of the time, as you might expect, it’s an office job. However, I recently had a great opportunity to put myself into the shoes of a long-haul truck driver. Over four days and three nights in a truck, I gained valuable, on-the-road insights that I never could’ve experienced in any office, and I made a new friend along the way.

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Gorge Fire Cleanup: An Employee’s Passion for Sustainability and Volunteerism

by Annette Navarro, DaimlerCares Lead

Last autumn, fire raged in the Columbia River Gorge, burning the area for months. Known as the Eagle Creek Fire, nearly 50,000 acres of wilderness and hiking trails were scorched just outside of Portland, Oregon. With passion for the environment reaching all the way down to her steel-toed boots, Beate Hoelscher from DTNA’s CEO’s Office decided to take action. She used one of her two annual, paid volunteer days to help Trail Keepers of Oregon, a nonprofit organization providing cleanup initiatives in the wake of the fire.

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New Electric Vehicle Initiatives at DTNA

by Dr. Andreas Juretzka, e-Mobility Group Lead

Technology moves fast, and this new era of e-mobility is no exception, demanding massive investments in focused knowledge, support and infrastructure. At Daimler Trucks North America, we’ve always been comfortable out front, introducing innovative new trucking technology, as exemplified by two new electric Freightliner trucks: the eCascadia and eM2 106.

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New Automation and Safety Innovations at Daimler Trucks North America

by Derek Rotz, Director of Advanced Engineering

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has long been at the forefront of industry-leading innovations. Our legacy is defined by a track record of technological advancements, including Intelligent Powertrain Management – to save fuel on hilly terrain, Active Brake Assist – to apply full braking on stationary objects and Lane Departure Warning – to help drivers stay centered in their lanes. The quest to fulfill our mission to save fuel and lives drives our engineers to push the envelope every day.

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Innovation Through Connectivity

by Sanjiv Khurana, General Manager, Digital Vehicle Solutions

Leading the commercial vehicle industry in safety, technology and connectivity, at DTNA, we are privileged to live and work in very exciting times for leading-edge data integration. Making comprehensive, actionable intelligence accessible from our connected trucks is transforming the way our customers interact with them and directly impacting their businesses’ bottom lines.

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15,000 Trees and Counting

By Paige Jarmer, Manager, Corporate Communications

My hometown of Portland, Oregon, is known for a lot of things – rain, coffee, beer, roses and being generally a little weird. But perhaps the thing we’re most famous for is our trees. We live under a beautiful urban canopy, nestled against a backdrop of densely forested hills and mountains...

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Behind the Design: The New Cascadia

by Martin Kreidl, Product Design and Concept Development

The prestigious Good Design award competition selects product designs and graphics from more than 46 nations for recognition of design excellence. It is one of the oldest and most recognized awards for design excellence in the world. Recently, the award committee named the new Freightliner Cascadia as an honoree in the category of transportation. To be chosen is a great honor for DTNA, and I’d like to thank everyone who participated in this process. 

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Leading as a Woman in a Male-Dominated Field

by Tracy L. Mack-Askew, Managing Director, Heavy Duty Vocational Truck Platform

It’s not easy being a female leader in a male-dominated field.  You may feel like the deck is stacked against you.  However, I’m here to tell you, you can achieve your dreams of greatness in your chosen field, even if you happen to be one of the few women in that area.

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Collaboration, Driving the Future…

by Richard Howard, Vice President, Sales and& Marketing

Our customers’ fingerprints are all over our newest truck -- the Freightliner Cascadia -- because it was with their feedback in mind that we developed the incredible new features that are truly valuable to them. We are extremely happy about this fact as our customers are and have always been our inspiration. Central to this idea is that most important concept of collaboration between people, or, as we like to say, being 100 Percent Connected! Collaboration is essential to our people, our customers and the all new Freightliner Cascadia.

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Let’s Connect: a sneak peek of the North America Commercial Vehicle Show

by Kary Schafer, General Manager, Marketing and Strategy

You may call it a family reunion. For the first time in years, we at Daimler Trucks North America will be showcasing our entire family of brands in one place: the inaugural North America Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show being held in Atlanta, Georgia the week of September 25th.

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Sustainability is How We Roll

By Olga Aulet-Leon, Sustainability Champion

Long before we built our new headquarters and opened its doors in April 2016, DTNA decided to strive for the highest environmental standard available: LEED Platinum Certification. To achieve this goal, we focused on elevating a challenging range of sustainability priorities, including energy efficiency, water conservation, and occupant health and wellness.

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Big Data in HR

by Eileen Frack, General Manager, Human Resources

There is an astronomical amount of data at our fingertips every day. In our personal lives we research products, look up and find old classmates and ask Google basically any question we want and get a slew of information back. What about in the workplace?

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No College Required: Skilled Trades

by Jeff Allen, SVP of Production, Quality, and Specialty Vehicles

A myth has long been perpetuated across American high schools that if you don’t have a college degree, you can’t earn a living wage, leaving many students unaware of the opportunities to earn a living wage with a job in manufacturing.

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What is AMT?

Thomas Lehman, Detroit Components Product Marketing Manager

There are three types of transmissions used in the heavy-duty trucking segment: manual, automatic and automated manual. While it’s pretty easy to understand how a true manual transmission works, there’s often confusion about how automated manual transmissions (or AMTs for short) function versus automatic transmissions, and what unique benefits an AMT provides.

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Innovating an American Icon

by Caley Edgerly, President & CEO, Thomas Built Buses

Only two countries in the entire world transport students to and from school via a school bus: the United States and Canada. School buses are the largest system of mass transportation in the United States, transporting nearly 25 million students daily. Even with its large numbers, school buses remain the safest way to get to and from school.

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Connectivity by Design

by Matt Pfaffenbach, Director of Connectivity

Recently I was riding a shuttle bus at the airport along with five other people. The moment the bus pulled away from the curb, all five people had their cell phones out and were “connected” to somewhere else altogether. I observe this behavior a lot; perhaps you have as well.

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The Top 10 Lessons for a Future Plant Manager

by Henning O. Bruns, General Manager, Cleveland (NC) Truck Plant

Like a plant in a garden, the working culture of a manufacturing plant also needs nurturing. The challenges of keeping employees working productively and the plant running smoothly are typically unique to the manufacturing world. During my 26 years with Daimler Trucks North America I have ridden the waves of business fluctuations, and I have had the opportunity to play a key role in keeping the culture and comradery evolving to keep engines and trucks rolling down the production lines.

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Strength Through Diversity

by Anahita Crawford, Manager, Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and the pursuit of equality and justice, have helped shaped North American society. The women’s and civil rights movements, compliance laws and policies and immigration from every corner of the world have played a role in shaping the workforce.

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Employment Value Proposition

by Eileen Frack, General Manager, Human Resources

Never has the competition for top talent been as intense as it is today. Innovative companies understand that their ability to continue being prosperous in the future requires attracting the best talent out there. It is no longer enough to be an average worker, and it is no longer enough to be an average employer.

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Inside a Sustainable Supply Chain

By Tori Flanigan, Director, Supplier Management

Many companies claim to care about sustainable practices. At Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) our commitment goes beyond words and well into action. Just a few of the examples where we lead on sustainable practices: we work in a LEED Platinum headquarters and Zero Waste to Landfill plants, and we engineer the most fuel efficient trucks on the road. There are many more initiatives, including our supply chain practices where we minimize the environmental impact.

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Small Changes have a Big Impact

by Lori Heino-Royer, Director, Business Innovation

Paradigm change has driven innovation. In our industry, Gottlieb Daimler invented the automobile and the truck over 100 years ago by thinking differently, as did Henry Ford when he made a small change that had a big impact on making the price of a vehicle affordable to the average American household.

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Threes for Trees


One of the primary causes employees at Daimler Trucks North America are passionate about is environmental stewardship. When there was an opportunity for the company to partner with the Portland Trail Blazers to give back to the community where we have been headquartered for over seven decades, we saw a natural connection to support Friends of Trees, a Portland-based non-profit organization that helps improve the urban tree canopy in the local community. 

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What's in a Drop of Fuel?


They’re everywhere and indispensable, and life would seem unimaginable without the service they provide. This may sound a lot like smartphones, but right now I’m talking about trucks. According to the American Trucking Association, 70 percent of all freight is moved by truck. Whether keeping supply chains humming and retail centers stocked, or delivering items directly to your doorstep, let’s face it; trucking serves as the backbone of the American economy.

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Think Globally, Work Locally


In my role at Daimler, a global organization, I have the privilege to experience other cultures in my daily business life. Each of these cultures brings small nuances that define how business in that region operates. From how time is monitored in meetings to the importance of hierarchy or the observation of personal space each culture has accepted norms and the norms of Daimler.

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Leadership 2020


Moore’s Law, famous for describing the driving force of technological and social change doubling every two years, also applies to the speed of business. Companies need to continuously evolve, always preparing for striking changes into the foreseeable future. Business leaders must be ahead of that curve, not only to best react to changes, but to help shape the changes created by new technologies and business practices on an ongoing basis.

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Sustainability, Marginal Improvement, and Target Setting


How in the world are these topics connected when it comes to engineering our products? The connection is very strong if I think about Fuel Economy, one of my favorite subjects.

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Employee Centered Giving


Over the past century, corporate giving has changed quite a bit in America. Its roots are based on individual philanthropists like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie making huge donations in the early 1900’s. By the mid-1900’s, following the war, companies tended to focus more on donating to large national non-profit organizations.

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LEED Platinum Certified


What does it take to accomplish the highest level of certification for an environmentally-friendly headquarters? For starters, it requires a long-term vision, high operational standards, significant investments, and a commitment to values.

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A Century of Engineering Innovation


As the director of communications and corporate marketing at Daimler Trucks North America, I feel strongly that I have the best job in the world. In my position, I have the honor to represent and communicate for the brightest, most passionate people in the industry who design and build, hands-down, the best trucks on the road.

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Innovation: The Struggle of What Is Possible and What Is Practical


Innovation is the sexy stuff of industry. It is always the work which everyone wants to be a part of. It is the place where people can be granted free reign to imagine, to create, and to try something new. It can also be the most frustrating, disappointing, and costly activity.

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What's in a Name?


Quite a lot, actually. Especially when you are a brand name … a brand name that’s on top. Freightliner’s new Cascadia went into production in January. And it is following in the tire tracks of a class 8 premium on-highway tractor that is retiring while leading its class in marketshare...

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