Key Dates in Daimler Trucks North America History
Freightliner founder Leland James begins experimenting with lightweight aluminum truck parts in the Consolidated Freightways truck fleet.
The Freightliner nameplate first appears.
Freightliner Corporation is founded.
Freightliner opens its first production
location, a 10,000 square-foot factory in Portland, Ore.
Freightliner agrees to market its trucks
through the dealerships of White Motor Corporation.
Freightliner builds a new, larger truck
plant in Portland, on Swan Island
and introduces two new models. The
Spacemaker was the company’s first COE with a flat face.
Freightliner builds its second truck
plant in Pomona, Calif.,
to serve the southern California
market, Freightliner’s largest.
Annual sales exceed 1,000 units for the first time.
Sales exceed 4,700 units.
Freightliner opens a larger
truck plant in Portland;
the older plant is dedicated to parts production.
Freightliner's Long Conventional makes
its debut. The FLD 120 would become
the company’s best-selling product for its era. The 100,000th
Freightliner is built.
Freightliner opens new corporate
headquarters in Portland
and sets up regional sales offices.
Freightliner launches an independent
network of dealerships in the United States.
Freightliner opens a parts plant in Gastonia, N.C., its
first manufacturing facility east of the Mississippi
Freightliner’s new truck plant opens
in Mount Holly, N.C.
Market share reaches a record 8.2 percent.
Freightliner of Canada
builds its 10,000th truck and signs 30 Freightliner dealers.
Mercedes-Benz AG of Germany purchases
Freightliner Corporation from Consolidated Freightways Inc. Freightliner
begins marketing Mercedes-Benz medium-duty trucks. The 200,000th
Freightliner is produced.
Freightliner is the No. 2 truck
in the Class 8 market, with a record 15.5 percent share of the U.S.
Freightliner exports the FLC 112
Medium-Conventional to Australia,
where it is converted to right-hand drive by Mercedes-Benz Australia. Freightliner acquires a manufacturing facility in Cleveland, N.C.,
that will become its largest manufacturing facility.
The new Business Class line of
medium-duty trucks from Freightliner is introduced to strong customer
acceptance. The Freightliner
Classic debuts, a rugged and stylish Conventional designed to appeal to
owner-operators. Sales increase in the export markets.
Freightliner celebrates its 50th
anniversary in business as the No. 1 heavy-duty truck builder in the North
American market. Freightliner
starts production at its new truck plant in St. Thomas,
Ontario, to serve eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.
Freightliner debuts the Classic XL
Conventional for owner-operators.
With a 132-inch BBC, it’s the longest conventional truck on the
Freightliner Corporation becomes
No. 1 marketer of used trucks in North America.
The debut of Freightliner’s Century
Class product line brings high-tech truck design to heavy-duty
trucking. Freightliner acquires a
chassis manufacturing plant in Gaffney,
South Carolina, from Oshkosh
Truck Corporation and launches Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation. The company also acquires legendary fire
truck manufacturer American LaFrance.
Freightliner Corporation acquires Ford
Motor Company’s heavy-truck business and names the company and the brand “Sterling.” Freightliner
launches the SelecTrucks Centers network to sell used trucks.
Daimler-Benz AG and Chrysler Corporation
merge to form DaimlerChrysler AG. Thomas Built Buses, a N.C. manufacturer
of school and transit buses, is acquired. Production of Sterling trucks
begins at the St. Thomas,
Freightliner truck is built. The
new Freightliner Century Class S/T (Safety/Technology) truck combines a
number of performance, safety and efficiency features. The heavy-duty
Freightliner Columbia debuts. The
market leader for the seventh year, the company achieves 38 percent of
heavy truck sales in North America. Sterling Trucks launches the medium-duty Acterra.
Freightliner LLC purchases
Western Star Trucks, a Canadian-based premium truck builder. The Condor, a versatile low cab forward
COE, is introduced for Freightliner and Sterling customers.
Western Star Trucks moves its
engineering and production to Portland.
Freightliner Trucks starts production of the Freightliner Coronado, the
new flagship model for owner-operators. Freightliner Trucks launches the Business
Class® M2 series, the successor to the original Business Class line.
American LaFrance relocates its headquarters and a large production
facility to Ladson, S.C.
and Western Star account for 38 percent of Class 8 sales in the NAFTA
region, which includes the U.S.,
Canada and Mexico
markets. Thomas Built Buses debuts
the Saf-T-Liner C2, a revolutionary school bus design.
Thomas Built Buses opens a new,
state-of-the art production facility in High Point, N.C. Freightliner LLC
unveils its new Wind Tunnel Research facility in Portland, Ore.
continues as the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty vehicles and the
second largest producer of medium-duty vehicles in North
America. Freightliner LLC and Detroit Diesel announce a $275 million investment to create a state-of-the-art component manufacturing center in Redford, Michigan. Freightliner LLC announces expanded capabilities at its South Bend, Indiana, Test Engineering Operation.
Freightliner Trucks' new flagship product, the Cascadia, debuts. The Cascadia sets new standards for the industry in aerodynamics, comfort and safety. Parent company DaimlerChrysler becomes Daimler after the divestiture of the Chrysler Group.
Freightliner LLC becomes Daimler Trucks North America to better reflect its position in the Daimler family worldwide.