Daimler Trucks North America will discontinue production of its Sterling brand medium and heavy-duty models and cease St. Thomas, Ontario, assembly operations in March 2009, focusing instead on Freightliner and Western Star vehicles from a South Carolina and two Mexico plants. The move is part of a plan through which management aims to strengthen company operations in response to continuing depressed demand across the industry and structural changes in core markets. Additions to the Freightliner and Western Star product ranges will be made to address market segments Sterling offerings have served exclusively.
Daimler Trucks expects Sterling dealers will still perform warranty repairs and maintenance services, supply replacement parts and provide technical support for owners of models bearing the discontinued nameplate. Dealers will accept Sterling orders through mid-January, and new truck sales will continue until present dealer stocks are depleted.
By concentrating technical and marketing resources on a two-brand offering, Daimler Trucks expects to drive what management contends is an even more attractive program of innovation in safety, environmental impact and user productivity that will further strengthen the leadership position of Daimler Trucks in the North American commercial vehicle market.