They might be owned by the same people, however a merger of the Western Star and Freightliner brands looks unlikely.
The two brands, both subsidiaries of Daimler Trucks North America, are enjoying very different fortunes in 2018.
Freightliner has the top-selling Cascadia (a model coming soon to Australia) and last year dominated more than 37% of the heavy-duty (Class 8) market in the U.S.
Western Star sales accounted for less then 3% of the market.
It’s a similar scenario in Australia where Western Star consistently has only around 1% of the heavy commercial vehicle market and is regularly the lowest-selling brand among the heavy-duty truck players.
So, would it makes sense to roll the Western Star brand under the Freightliner umbrella? Dave Carson, President of Western Star believes there are good reasons why that is unlikely to happen.
In an interview with the Trucks.com publication, Carson said he believed a merger wasn’t on the cards.
“We see absolute value to the brand as a stand-alone brand, but not as a completely separated or distinct product or company from Freightliner. We see it as complementary.”
Mr Carson also explained that the Western Star brand offered a more ‘tailor-made’ solution for truck purchasers in North America.
“We’re very unique in terms of the number of features and options that we can provide to our customers. Freightliner sells mostly to large fleets.
“Our sales of our trucks are really handled by our dealers. We support our dealers and they have those relationships for the one-, two- or three-truck deals with extremely unique specifications.
They work with the customer, then we work with them to fully spec the truck, be able to place an order, get it built, and then deliver it to the dealer who’s ultimately going to deliver it to the customer.”
The interview also looks at how the featuring of a Western Star truck in the Transformer movies has helped the brand (Optimus Prime is a Western Star) and whether electric models were on the horizon for the brand.
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Stay up to date with the latest Western Star Trucks News at heavyvehicles.com.au.