The truck marketplace is "stable and sturdy," with a lot of optimism, says Mark Lampert, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Daimler Truck North America (DTNA).
He notes that net Class 8 order intake for NAFA has been on the increase since 2009, with all segments of the Class 6 through 8 industry up, except for housing.
Adding to the optimism is that the industry it at its highest average used truck age, around 6.8 years, he says.
At the same time, Lampert points out that the industry is being impacted by three main factors - electronic onboard recorders, CSA and Hours of Service regulation - all of which are impacting truck utilization and productivity.
Lampert foresees Class 8 North American retail sales for 2012 at 232,500, up from 183,000 in 2011.
"The mindset our entire organization is to be the market leader in Class 6 to 8, and be consistently profitable" says Lampert.
To achieve this goal, he outlined what he called DTNA's "pillars to success." They include:
- Everything the company does is based on doing its best in all business areas.
- Having the industry leading lowest total cost of operation.
- Having sustainable solutions.
- Being the employer of choice in the industry.
- Providing customer centric product features.
Meanwhile, DTNA's parent company Daimler “is utilizing the potential of its technology on a global basis of to offer the best captive components in the industry in products perfectly tuned to individual needs by segment and application," says Lampert.
It will still offer other OE componetry, however.
Its Detroit organization (formerly Detroit Diesel) is currently producing truck axles for DTNA's Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Buses and Freightliner Custom Chassis vehicles.
It also plans to offer its own automated transmissions.
With the launch of the new Detroit brand last October, Detroit “will be much more encompassing the just Detroit diesel engines," he says.
To position DTNA as the market leader in Class 6 to 8, Lampert explains that “the company will differentiate itself with a value proposition with the new Detroit brand - engines, axles and transmissions - for long-term value with superior fuel economy through, lowest cost of operation, ease of maintenance, driver friendly technologies and strong dealer and distribution network.