New challenge for Freightliner's international sales boss

Freightliner works to introduce new products to fill gap left by Sterling's closure

By Gary Worrall

With the impending closure of the Sterling truck brand worldwide, Kevin Dennis, Freightliner’s Director of International Sales and Service, says he is working on new products to fill the gap this will create.

Dennis, who took over from previous incumbent Ken Dunn, says the problem for Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific (MBAuP) is bigger than elsewhere, with Western Star represented by a separate reseller.

With a history including senior roles with both Perkins Engines and Detroit Diesel, Dennis has been a regular visitor to Australia over the last 15 years.

He says the Australian market is his most important, and the closure of Sterling presents a challenge the brand must overcome.

"We’re working on a project with Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific on a product range that will help us satisfy our loyal Sterling base while also attracting new customers," Dennis says.

"We are working on new platforms and extensions of our existing platforms for the Australian market. That’s a very exciting project for us."

The use of Freightliner product was first flagged by Ken Matthews, Managing Director of Commercial Vehicles for MBAuP when the Sterling closure was announced in 2008.

Matthews said the full range of Mercedes Benz trucks, Freightliner, Fuso and Mercedes Benz vans will offer a suite of products able to meet the needs of virtually any transport operator in Australia.

Despite this, Matthews say he is not concerned about any possible dilution of Freightliner’s core brand values, despite its predicted move into more vocational applications.

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