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Daniel Whitehead

DAIMLER Truck and Bus in Australia this week separated from Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific as part of a global restructure to focus on truck customers and create a more agile business model.

The move to form three separate legal entities was triggered on October 1 this year, creating stand-alone business units for cars, for vans (which is responsible for the new X-Class ute) and trucks.

Newly appointed CEO of Daimler Truck and Bus, Daniel Whitehead, said the move to create the legal entities was born from an idea at head office in Germany to ensure the strength of Daimler’s entries in the three distinct vehicle segments.

It would allow the new unit to act on market forces that specifically affect truck and bus issues, he said.

“We are now a fully dedicated truck and bus company,” he said in a statement.

“This change will allow Daimler Truck and Bus to intensify our focus on our customers who have different needs to van and car customers.

“It also gives us increased flexibility and will enhance our ability to better respond to customer needs as we pursue our sustainable growth strategies.”

Mr Whitehead said the separation would put more emphasis on Daimler Truck and Bus dealers.

“Our dealers are a one-stop shop for trucks and buses, covering all the major market sectors with the best products from Europe, the US and Japan,” he said.

“We are now in an even better position to leverage this strength through our extensive dealer network.”

He said the business is in “the unparalleled position of offering our customers a complete commercial transport solution with our three brands – Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, and Fuso.”

Australia is the third market to separate its core business units following similar moves in the UK and Spain.

A spokesman for Daimler Truck and Bus told GoAutoNews Premium that the change would not reduce operational costs because each division now has many separate back-end departments – such as accounting – that will require an increase in staff numbers.

The truck division will remain at the company’s headquarters in the Melbourne suburb of Mulgrave where the car and van divisions are housed, but it is renovating its offices and designing extra space for the additional staff.

There are no plans to change the Australian dealer arrangements – other than the change of name of the legal entity – or the existing parts distribution and warehousing.

Daimler in Australia has 54 Mercedes-Benz car dealers, 54 selling vans and 42 truck dealers. There are also an additional 19 truck and bus service and parts centres.

By Neil Dowling

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