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Daimler aims to tackle challenges of Mexican truck market

Executives of Daimler Trucks

Flavio Rivera, head of Daimler Trucks Mexico, and Martin Daum, head of Daimler Trucks global trucks business, spoke Wednesday about the challenges facing the Mexican truck market in a press event held at the Expo Transporte in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“I really believe in the future of this country,” said Martin Daum, head of Daimler’s global trucks business and former president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, speaking to an audience of press and Mexican fleets on Wednesday at the 2017 Expo Transporte in Guadalajara, Mexico. Daum kicked off a press conference in which key executives at DTNA and Daimler Trucks Mexico noted the challenges facing the Mexican truck market, as well as the potential for the continued development of the country’s infrastructure and transportation industry.

“I really believe Daimler plays a crucial role” in that development, Daum said, noting his company’s ambition to bring a lineup of tractors and trucks that fit the Mexican market’s unique needs. “What we had nine or 10 years ago was not our aspiration. I said we could do better, and we did.”

As part of the company’s focus on the Mexican trucking industry, DTNA at Expo Transporte pulled the curtain back on two new tractors designed specifically for the Mexican truck market, targeting what Daimler identified as an emerging demand for cabover models. The Class 8 Freightliner 360 2528 is an “innovative [model] to meet the most specific needs of our customers’ business,” said Flavio Rivera, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks Mexico.

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However, despite OEMs’ attempts to bring modern equipment to the developing Latin American segment, a lack of regulations and capital has led to stagnation in modernizing the Mexican market and bringing it up to the emissions standards of trucks operating in the U.S. and Europe.

The country’s truck fleet “is very old,” says Rivera. “When we talk about emissions, it is in the Euro 2 standard,” he said. Euro 2 standards are more than 20 years old, having been enacted in the 1990s. “We are very far away from the (current) Euro 5 standards, so we are very concerned. Our concern is not only to have the technology available in our trucks, but the Mexican market in fact has not made progress itself.”

Rivera said Daimler is trying to institute a project to allow older fleets to transition to new equipment as a means to update the country’s fleet “so we are able to scrap all these old vehicles,” he said. Rivera didn’t offer specifics as to the incentives of modernizing the country’s trucks, but he said 1,700 trucks have been updated this year as part of the country’s initiative. The company is also trying to sell fleets on the lower total cost of ownership of modern vehicles, such as reduced fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs.

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James Jaillet is the News Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at jjaillet@randallreilly.com.

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