Daimler Truck Financial celebrates 35 years in the trucking industry this week, having put more than a million trucks on the road since the mid-1970s while building up its portfolio serviced to $5.4 billion and managing more than 43,000 contracts. Starting as Freightliner Financial in 1974 with few employees and several contracts, the company has grown to 230 employees, primarily located in a new operations center in Fort Worth, Texas, while others are in Fort Mill, S.C., and Farmington Hills, Mich.
“With our moves to Fort Worth and Fort Mill last year, we are taking critical steps to ensure our long-term success,” Richard Howard, vice president and head of Daimler Truck Financial, wrote in an e-mail message to employees. “Although the market is extremely challenging at the moment, we’ve seen and survived our fair share of tough times.”
The global economic climate has changed many times since the company started doing business to support the sale of Freightliner Trucks. Business started against the backdrop of the world’s first oil shock in 1974. That led to the first energy crisis and gasoline shortages, culminating in the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act passed in 1974 limiting highway speeds to 55 miles per hour.
Having stayed in the trucking industry through tough and good times in the economy, Daimler Truck Financial says it takes a balanced approach to managing its portfolio and focuses on profitable growth through diversification; today, the portfolio is spread across the major trucking industry segments: fleet (51 percent), dealers (29 percent), vocational (10 percent) and owner-operator (9 percent).
Recognized as a valuable partner by dealer councils, fleet companies and Daimler Trucks North America, Daimler Truck Financial consistently is a top-ranked financial services provider in the annual American Truck Dealer survey. Also known for its innovation in supporting customers, Daimler Truck Financial in recent months has introduced online training for dealerships to learn finance and insurance initiatives; won a bid from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to finance environmentally compliant hybrid trucks; and introduced insurance packages bundled into its financial products for fleets and dealerships.
“Our purpose remains as steadfast today as it did when we started 35 years ago — to be the first choice provider of financial products and services for dealers and fleets across all segments,” Howard says.