"We want to be number one," DaimlerChrysler board member Dieter Zetsche recently told the German business newspaper Handelsblatt. Freightliner is already the biggest maker of heavy duty trucks in the U.S.
Zetsche, a former Freightliner president who now heads DaimlerChrysler's commercial vehicle division, sidestepped a question about selling the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter delivery van in the U.S. but Freightliner has said it would launch a Class 1-4 model sometime this year. Industry insiders believe it will be the popular Sprinter, now only available in Europe.
"We would of course like to carry the success of our transporters to other regions," Zetsche said. "But as far as other Mercedes-Benz products for the U.S. market are concerned, we're still a long way from making any firm statements."
When asked about a possible acquisition by DaimlerChrysler in Asia, Zetsche said he was confident that a decision would be reached in the foreseeable future.