GUADALAJARA, MEXICO — The rollout of two new market-specific cabover trucks in Mexico exemplifies Daimler Trucks overarching strategy of acting globally but thinking locally.
To help cement its dominance of the Mexico truck market, the German-based company unveiled two new Freightliner 360 cabover trucks on Nov. 15, the Class 6 1217 and the Class 8 2528. The two trucks join the existing Class 4 715, introduced back in 2008, in the Freightliner 360 family aimed at urban trucking applications.
“We’re proud to be at home here [in Mexico] for many years and decades,” said Martin Daum, member of the Daimler AG board of management and global head of Daimler Trucks and Buses, at a Nov. 15 press conference at Expo Transporte, the biggest truck and bus show in Latin America.
Daum noted that Mexico is not only a market for Daimler but a production hub for the OEM. Expanding on how the company views world markets, he said that as a truck OEM, Daimler recognizes that “no one buys a truck who doesn’t need it. It’s our job to adjust to customer demands, which we do through technology.
“We are a global company,” he continued, but one that views and acts in each market singularly. “Daimler is a German company in Germany. An American company in the United States. And a Mexican company in Mexico.” Daum said that’s why the company has an extensive manufacturing operation as well as a dedicated force of both engineers and sales personnel in place here.
At a customer sneak preview of the new trucks held the night before, Daimler Trucks North America President and CEO Roger Nielsen pointed out that the new 360 cabovers demonstrate the advantage of being able to customize Daimler’s global truck platform for regional markets, right down to submarkets, such as in this case for trucks designed to work well in Mexico’s demanding urban applications.
Flavio Rivera, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks Mexico, said that the 360 trucks were developed “in response to the characteristics and needs of the Mexican transport industry… [so] the new generation of 360 trucks constitutes an innovative family of products to meet the most specific needs of our customers’ business.”
According to Daimler Trucks Mexico, the two new 360 trucks will stand out in the local cabover market thanks to such key differentiators as “a much more customizable chassis, a renovated cab layout, two passenger seats, and optimal accessibility thanks to its wide doors and handles strategically placed within the cabin.”
The OEM said both new trucks offer “exceptional maneuverability, a reinforced steel cab ready to bear any bodywork safely, a wide, spacious interior, high corrosion resistance, a proprietary Daimler powertrain, ergonomic design, and a versatile chassis that allows for many different configurations.”
The new 360s are also the first Freightliner vehicles powered by Euro V-compliant SCR engines to be commercialized in Mexico. Daimler stated that means they are setting the stage to “the production of cleaner vehicles with lower environmental impact and greater fuel efficiency.”
The Class 6 360 1217 is powered by a 170-horsepower Mitsubishi engine mated to a 7-speed Mercedes-Benz G85 transmission. It can haul 8 tons of payload and features an adjustable telescopic steering wheel, electric windows and locks, air conditioning, and standard fog lamps.
The Class 8 360 2528 is powered by a 280-horsepower Mercedes-Benz engine and is mated to a Mercedes-Benz G131 manual transmission. The 2528 can handle 17 tons of payload and is available with an extended cab. Key features include available rear and frontal stabilizer bars, ergonomic dashboard, engine and exhaust braking system, optional sleeper cab configuration, and a fuel efficiency diagnostic system. “The 2528 is the best equipped in its class with air conditioning, electric locks and windows at a highly competitive price,” Daimler stated.
“By releasing these two models, we want to maintain our position of undisputed market leadership in Mexico and capture the cab-over-engine segment, said Nielsen. “We hope to help transform this country’s commercial vehicle industry in the areas of safety, driver-centric design, and reliability,” he added.