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Daimler Trucks unveils new market approach

Freightliner and Western Star's vocational and on-highway segment strategies have changed

three men address a crowd
David Carson, Richard Howard and Stefan Kurschner address Freightliner and Western Star dealers at DTNA's annual dealer meeting.

Daimler Trucks North America LLC  has 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. 

This 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.

Accompanying the unveiling of the new market approach, DTNA announced new roles for the leaders of both Freightliner and Western Star. Richard Howard, senior vice president of sales and marketing, will now assume responsibility for DTNA's complete portfolio of on-highway trucks as the senior vice president, on-highway sales and marketing. David Carson, president of Western Star, will transition to the role of senior vice president, vocational sales and marketing. In his new role, Carson assumes responsibility for the full portfolio of vocational trucks at DTNA.

Roger Nielsen, president and CEO, Daimler Trucks North America addresses Freightliner and Western Star dealers at DTNA's annual dealer meeting.

An change in customer focus

DTNA's alignment with the truck market segments reflects an evolution in its go-to-market strategy and promises to drive a customer-focused mindset while honoring the unique heritage and products of two distinct brands.

DTNA holds the position to provide significantly greater attention to its customers in both the vocational and on-highway segments. Both segments will continue to be supported by the entirety of the DTNA dealer network and field staff.

David Carson, senior vice president, Vocational sales and marketing addresses Freightliner and Western Star dealers at DTNA's annual dealer meeting.

An overhaul in customer experience

DTNA utilized the concept of the 24-hour maximum turnaround in 2018 to put customers back on the road for most service issues within a day or less. The DTNA Aftermarket team continues to accelerate toward this goal with a dedicated Customer Experience (CX) organization launched in mid-2019 and led by chief CX officer, Paul Romanaggi. Communication, speed and transparency associated with continuous improvement efforts have revolutionized the customer experience for the On-highway segment, and DTNA is committed to bringing that same laser focus to the Vocational segment.

DTNA has introduced several enablers of the 24-hour maximum turnaround that will benefit its vocational and on-highway customers. Detroit Connect prevents unnecessary downtime with wireless over-the-air truck parameter and firmware updates, and utilizes a Smart Alert system to advise the urgency of fault codes. 

Excelerator, DTNA's new eCommerce platform launches this April and will change the online parts ordering experience by connecting the customer to all dealer management systems in its network, resulting in improved inventory, logistics transparency and delivery options. All of this is supported by DTNA's expanding parts distribution network, which enables 90 percent of DTNA customers to utilize its dedicated delivery service for 12-hour delivery.

Richard Howard, senior vice president, On-highway sales and marketing addresses Freightliner and Western Star dealers at DTNA's annual dealer meeting.

Familiar names, new roles

As part of the newly announced segment strategy, executive appointments include the following:

On-Highway Sales

  • Drew Backeberg will assume the newly created position of vice president, On-highway sales. Backeberg is an 18-year veteran of DTNA, holding roles of increasing responsibility in the sales organization throughout his tenure. In his new role he will lead the dealer sales business for on-highway products, including the Freightliner Cascadia, Western Star 5700, and certain M2 applications such as pick-up and delivery.
  • Brian Cota will continue to lead a national accounts team. As vice president of national accounts, Cota and his team will maintain current responsibilities while focusing on growth strategies for DTNA's on-highway fleet business. Cota is a 26-year veteran of DTNA, holding roles of increasing responsibility in the sales organization of DTNA and its affiliated brands throughout his tenure.

Vocational Sales

  • Peter Arrigoni has been promoted to the new position of vice president, Vocational sales, bringing an increased focus on growth in the Vocational segment. Arrigoni has been with DTNA since 2016 and is a 13-year veteran of the industry. Similar to the on-highway organization, Arrigoni's new vocational team will have a regional structure that includes three regions in the U.S. and a matrixed reporting structure for Canada. The vocational field sales team is responsible for the entire DTNA vocational product line including the Western Star 4700, 4800, 4900 and 6900, and the Freightliner EconicSD, 108SD, 114SD, 122SD and the M2 for vocational applications.
  • Richard Saward will lead a Vocational national accounts team. As vice president, Vocational national accounts, Saward and his team will continue to support truck equipment manufacturers, while identifying growth opportunities for vocational fleet business. Saward is a 40-year veteran of DTNA, holding roles of increasing responsibility in the sales organization of DTNA and its affiliated brands throughout his tenure.
Stefan Kurschner, senior vice president, Aftermarket addresses Freightliner and Western Star dealers at DTNA's annual dealer meeting.

Marketing & product strategy

Kary Schaefer will lead the marketing and product strategy teams for both the on-highway and vocational segments that include Freightliner, Western Star and Detroit products. In her role as general manager, marketing and product strategy, Schaefer will concentrate on market development, platform product strategy, marketing intelligence, planning, reporting, and digital experience. Schaefer is a 21-year veteran of DTNA, holding increasing roles of responsibility throughout her tenure in engineering, product planning and marketing.

Company info

2477 Deerfield Drive,
Fort Mill, SC
US, 29715

Website:
freightlinertrucks.com

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4747 N. Channel Ave.
Portland, OR
US, 97217

Website:
westernstartrucks.com

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