DaimlerChrysler Truck Financial announces regionalization initiative

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DaimlerChrysler Truck Financial on Monday, April 9, announced a regionalization initiative that it says will improve service to Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star dealers and all industry segments across four regions of the United States, encompassing the Eastern, Central, Southern and Western sections of the country. The four components of the initiative operating on a regional basis will be sales, fleet credit, dealer credit and a new small business credit department.

Geoff Robinson, director of sales, marketing and remarketing for Lisle, Ill.-based DaimlerChrysler Truck Financial, previewed the initiative to dealership finance and insurance professionals at the business unit’s annual Truck Series business meeting for Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star dealers.

“This approach to customer service will enable our sales and credit people to share knowledge of regional market conditions, which will result in stronger relationships and consistent communication with our dealers,” Robinson told the dealers. “Moreover, this straightforward, regional approach to the market further enhances our dealer and customer value proposition as the dedicated captive financial services source for Freightliner brands.”

Robinson said the newly-formed small business credit team would handle fleets with fewer than 11 trucks or less than a $500,000 line of credit with DaimlerChrysler Truck Financial. Fleet Credit will service fleets with more than 11 trucks or credit lines more than $500,000.

Other features of the regionalization of the sales and credit teams, according to the company, will be:

  • Credit buyers for specific regions;
  • Daily internal communication between sales and credit;
  • Team visits to dealerships to strengthen communication;
  • Fuller understanding of dealer inventory and customers; and
  • Timely feedback.
  • “DaimlerChrysler Truck Financial does a good job of keeping us in the loop on new initiatives to get our feedback,” said Dave Bibler, finance manager for Stoops Freightliner — Quality Trailer Inc., an Indianapolis-based operator of six new truck dealerships in Indiana and Ohio. “We’re very much behind this program because it is a common-sense approach to industry issues. At the end of the day, my issues in Indiana are different from a single store operator’s in Utah.”

    Bibler, a former banker who has been with Stoops Freightliner for 16 years, is the chairman of the Finance & Insurance Dealer Council, a 20-member group of dealers that meets several times a year and serves as a sounding board for programs and initiatives in the formative stages at DaimlerChrysler Truck Financial.

    Another initiative introduced to the dealership F&I professionals is called “express turn time,” aimed primarily at the mid-sized truck segment and small business owners who would be purchasing vehicles such as the recently introduced Sterling Bullet or the Dodge Sprinter Chassis Cab.

    “Our goal here is efficiency with a consumer-like credit turn time of less than one hour for the ‘business for hire’ fleets which represent approximately 70 percent of our portfolio,” Robinson said. “Our value proposition is to offer a full range of wholesale and retail programs that support the products being manufactured by our Freightliner LLC brand partners and support our dealers and their customers.”

    The announcement of the sales and credit regionalization initiative comes on the heels of the company’s announcement of its entry into the trucking industry’s full-service leasing market. Its Sterling Trucks CompleteLease and Chrysler Financial CompleteLeas initiatives are aimed at small business owners in the vocational segment.

    CompleteLease is designed to offer the convenience of a single-source transportation package for busy entrepreneurs. It features sturdy, durable vehicles and includes tailored financing, like an operating lease, maintenance, repair and other value-added time-saving options such as titling, registration, compliance services and a fuel card, the company said. CompleteLease is designed for customers whose core business focus is in areas such as the food service and beverage sector, furniture stores, fuel distribution, plumbing supply, landscaping and contracting.

    DaimlerChrysler Truck Financial, a business unit of DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas, provides wholesale financing and credit lines to Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star and Thomas Built Bus dealers. For more information, go to www.dctruckfinancial.com.