DTNA focused on market leadership

Lucas Deal

November 19, 2013

DaimlerDaimler Trucks North America (DTNA) wants to lead.

During a promotional event for its Alliance Truck Parts all-makes aftermarket product line Saturday in Miami, DTNA announced it has improved the standards of its Elite Support Certified program and will debut a new Detroit Connect telematics program for fleet customers in 2014.

The company says both announcements, and a reinvigorated effort to promote the Alliance brand, are part of the DTNA’s corporate quest to hold “undisputed market leadership” in the North American commercial vehicle market.

Friedrich Baumann, senior vice president, aftermarket, says DTNA’s aftermarket business unit plans to do that through a five-step process built to showcase its value to customers and “deliver uptime.”

The steps of the plan include broadening its retail approach, revamping its RIM (retail inventory management) system to provide faster parts availability, promoting and improving its Detroit Connect Easy Trucking telematics program, leveraging Detroit brand reman operations and raising dealer and distributor network performance.

“In the aftermarket group, our empowered team and distribution network creates market industry leading products, services and solutions,” Baumann says. “We trust in our people and partner to deliver benchmark value to our customers and shareholders.

“We will not settle for second place.”

Alliance Truck Parts

Baumann says Alliance Truck Parts provides DTNA an excellent resource for several aspects of the five-part plan.

Formed in 1998, the Alliance Truck Parts brand has 32 product lines across three major areas — accessories, repair/replacement parts, maintenance — and is available at more than 800 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

Todd Biggs, director, aftermarket parts and service marketing at DTNA, says the Alliance brand is geared toward a truck’s second and third owners, typically small fleets and owner operators, who don’t buy a lot of parts from dealers.

Offered at a lower price point, Biggs says Alliance offers “better parts, good prices” and allows DTNA “to hit a market we don’t normally hit through our dealer channel.”

In promoting the aftermarket line, DTNA has turned to the race track.

Alliance Truck Parts was the main sponsor for the Penske Racing No. 12 Ford Mustang driven by 2006 Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish, Jr. on the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year.

RELATED: A day at the races with Alliance Truck Parts

Biggs says the Nationwide series allows DTNA and Alliance visibility with its targeted customer demographic, and has been influential to increasing Alliance brand recognition in the marketplace.

“We have the best brand familiarity for all private label OE brands,” says Biggs, referring to a survey released last year.

Baumann says that’s an important step in DTNA’s quest to lead.

“To be the undisputed market leader, we also have to be an aftermarket leader,” he says.

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