Details were expected to be announced this week at the European road transport show in Amsterdam. According to the Financial Times of London, the plan is to replace regional organizations with five business units: Mercedes-Benz trucks; vans; buses; Freightliner and Sterling brands; and a powertrain division. By giving directors global responsibility the company hopes to make it easier to introduce existing products into new markets, the Times said. DaimlerChrysler is particularly interested in increasing its commercial vehicle presence in Asia, and may do so with trucks built in Latin America and Indonesia.
The reorganization comes at the direction of Dieter Zetsche, the former head of Mercedes-Benz brand management, who moved into the top commercial vehicle spot last year. Zetsche was president of Freightliner Corp. in 1991.
DaimlerChrysler is also expected to announce record commercial vehicle output for last year with sales of over 550,000 units, up 13% from 1998.