Daimler takes aim to become leader of Mexico truck market

Daimler Trucks Mexico (DTM), the largest manufacturer of trucks and tractors in Mexico, has been a growing presence in Mexico for more than 40 years. With two manufacturing plants, a parts distribution center, aftersales services, and nationwide dealer coverage Daimler Trucks Mexico is poised to reach its stated goal of becoming the undisputed Mexican market leader.

“At Daimler Trucks Mexico, we offer the widest product range for all applications -we cover from Class 4 to Class 8 – and have the most advanced manufacturing footprint amongst our competitor base,” said Stefan Kürschner, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks Mexico.  “In North America Freightliner products have been proven to have the best fuel economy and lower total cost of ownership for our customers, it is our goal to build upon that strength in Mexico.”

At a meeting held this week in Cabos San Lucas, Mexico, Kürschner addressed the issues the Mexican market faces, and advised how he plans to lead the company in addressing these challenges.

Kürschner pointed out two key challenges that differentiate the Mexican market from the U.S. and Canada: the difficulty in obtaining complete numbers on truck registrations, and the age of fleets in the country.

“It’s hard to get data in Mexico,” said Kürschner. The company has worked with truck associations to obtain some information. “But registration data as you’re used to having it in North America does not exist in the Mexican market.”

Also looking at the Mexican vehicle emissions structure, Kürschner says more than 150,000 trucks on Mexican roads are more than 20 years old.   

Of these challenges, Kürschner says adaptability is key. 

Kürschner believes reaching the customer and working with the dealer network is one aspect to Daimler Trucks Mexico hopes to address for the company’s success.

“We see our dealers as a very crucial point to become undisputed market leaders. (Dealers) provide the service to our customers. We will work with our dealers as partners to strengthen our link to the customers.”

Daimler Trucks Mexico is the largest commercial vehicles manufacturer operating in Mexico today with two manufacturing facilities– one in Saltillo, Coahuila; the other in Santiago, Tianguistenco, both manufacturing Freightliner vehicles.   Additionally, Daimler Trucks Mexico has a parts distribution center in San Luis Potosi and sales and aftersales, human resources, compliance, IT and finance departments functions in Santa Fe, outside of Mexico City.

Kürschner advised DTM plans to provide a unique product offering specific to the Mexican trucking market. 

Through its two production plants, Daimler Trucks manufactures approximately 60,000 units per year.  The Saltillo and Santiago plants are equipped with cutting edge machinery, high engineering standards, qualified staff and excellent quality to produce thousands of different truck and tractor configurations.

The Saltillo plant in the state of Coahuila, was built in 2009 with a 300 million dollar initial investment, it has produced more than 136,000 Cascadia trucks since its opening to date. The Santiago Tianguistenco plant in the State of Mexico scored a $45 million dollar investment during the third quarter of last year, aimed at optimizing processes and creating jobs. About 300,000 Freightliner models have been produced in the plant throughout its history.

Kürschner advises Daimler Trucks Mexico will focus on creating a product portfolio unique to the needs of the Mexican market, versus looking at other countries' standards of product portfolios. 

Daimler Trucks currently has an extensive product portfolio serving various industry niches such as the Freightliner M2 to move cargo with different weighing or condition from applications from beverage delivery to cement mixer.   The Freightliner Columbia (122SD in North America) delivers quality and reliability on the road and construction applications, and the Freightliner Cascadia with Detroit DD15 engine featuring fuel efficient performance and lower  total  cost  of  ownership,  and  lastly  the  FL  360  cabover  vehicle  featuring  greater visibility and maneuverability for the driver.

"We are also working on showing our customers that we have the best solution to meet their individual business needs through our broad Freightliner product portfolio – the right product for every customer application and market segment,” said Kürschner.  “We are set up to work as an independent entity in Mexico, but we are truly an integral part of all of Daimler Trucks North America.”

With a complete focus to establish market leadership, Daimler Trucks Mexico has launched a new strategy supported by four pillars:

  1. Product Portfolio: aligned to the demands of every customer segment and anticipated market growth in Mexico, providing the lowest cost of ownership.
  2. Dealer Network:  A complete network featuring high quality customer service, aimed at meeting the needs of each client.
  3. Ease of Doing Business: With a total customer focus, a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, as well as comprehensive solutions that feature the best product, affordable financing plans and the highest quality after sales service.
  4. Internal talent: Employees are vital to the success of the company, for Daimler Trucks Mexico,  it  is  essential  to  enhance  individual  professional  development,  promote leadership and ensure the balance between personal and professional life in a diverse and inclusive environment.

"Mexico is a market with great growth potential, a key country in the region, in which we have had significant presences for more than four decades and continue to invest in to provide the best products and best service to our customers who are the backbone of this ambitious strategy," said Kürschner.