Daimler exec: Future bright for Cascadia Evolution

Jason Cannon

October 23, 2013

During the 2013 American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., Daimler Trucks North America President and CEO Martin Daum, and newly appointed CEO of Daimler Trucks Wolfgang Bernhard sat down with the trucking media for global and NAFTA market updates.

Among the topics of discussion was the Cascadia Evolution, which has sold more than 20,000 units, and is the centerpiece of Freightliner’s aerodynamics-meets-fuel-economy efforts.

According to our sister site, CCJ, speaking directly of the U.S. market, Bernhard said 60 percent of its sales come from DTNA’s 30 largest customers.

“If we don’t understand what they need tomorrow they won’t need us the day after tomorrow,” he said.

The company’s goal is to work closely with these fleets as partners to build and design better products, and Bernhard cited a recent effort with Saddle Creek Logistics to provide the natural gas truck customer with new CNG fuel tanks positioned behind the side and back of cab fairings that save 500 pounds.

Still, the Cascadia Evolution remains at the forefront of DTNA’s North American market strategy.

“The Cascadia Evolution is a hell of a truck,” says Bernhard, noting that DTNA has sold roughly 20,000 orders to date. “The centerpiece is the integrated powertrain with the DT12 transmission.”

U.S. production of the DT12 will begin in 2015, CCJ reported. The DT12 has been available with the DD15 engine since May, and last month it became available with the DD13 engine.

“When we start production in Detroit, I’m absolutely sure every single transmission built in Detroit will stay in the United States,” says Daum.

Initially there was a thought the company might export some of the U.S.-made units to support production at the plant in Gaggenau, Germany, but Daum now says if anything, they’ll import transmissions from Germany to keep up with expected demand during the domestic production ramp up.

For the full article, which includes Daimler execs’ thought on standardizing emissions regulations globally and the capability of marketing a “global truck”, click here.

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