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ATLANTA — Daimler Trucks North America introduced a dynamic lease program that uses connected-vehicle technology to enable a “pay-as-you-drive” financing option.
The manufacturer of Freightliner and Western Star trucks also highlighted its investments in automated driving and electric vehicles at its Oct. 28 press conference here at the 2019 North American Commercial Vehicle Show.
The dynamic lease program, which the company hailed as an industry first, aligns customers’ lease payments with billable miles.
This financing option from Daimler Truck Financial utilizes data gathered via the Detroit Connect telematics platform embedded in the company’s trucks.
“Dynamic lease will give our customers the power to personalize their financing, to better manage cash flow, and better navigate the uncertainties of running a business,” said DTNA CEO Roger Nielsen. “Dynamic leasing is not just ideal for our present market; it is the future of truck financing.”
The new financing option from Daimler Truck Financial will become available late in the first quarter of 2020, starting with Freightliner Cascadia models equipped with Detroit engines.
Nielsen also recapped DTNA’s push to make highly automated trucks a reality within 10 years.
The company recently started on-highway testing of SAE Level 4 automated driving technology in southwest Virginia in partnership with its Torc Robotics subsidiary.
“We’re investing, testing, and when the time comes, we will launch an autonomous-capable truck,” Nielsen said. “Our money says within a decade.”
Daimler Trucks announced earlier this year that it is investing more than $570 million to bring Level 4 autonomous driving to the nation’s highways.
The truck maker also showcased its battery-electric eCascadia and eM2 models, which it has begun delivering to early fleet customers for use and testing in real-world freight operations.
“We are on the pathway to an electric future — a future of complementary propulsion technologies to promote efficiency safety and uptime,” Nielsen said.
Howard by John Sommers II for Transport Topics
In the meantime, DTNA continues to develop its flagship products.
By year’s end, DTNA will have sold more than 200,000 units of its new Cascadia model, which the company launched in 2017, said Richard Howard, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
The truck maker also is rolling out Detroit Assurance 5.0, the latest version of its active safety technology. Active Lane Assist, which will enable SAE Level 2 automation with active steering control, will become available in April.
DTNA also previewed the next generation of its Detroit DD15 diesel engine.
The Detroit DD15 Gen 5, which will become available in 2021, will further enhance fuel economy and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions for the Class 8 market, Howard said.
DTNA had 15 commercial vehicles on display in its NACV exhibit space.
The booth also included a “future dealership” concept, reflecting the manufacturer’s efforts to enhance aftermarket service and customer support.
Kurschner by John Sommers II for Transport Topics
It is inevitable that at some point, trucks will need service, said Stefan Kurschner, DTNA’s senior vice president for aftermarket. “Our commitment is when that happens, we are going to get our customers’ trucks back on the road within 24 hours or less.”
To help expedite service and repairs, DTNA introduced Excelerator, a new e-commerce platform for aftermarket parts.
The platform, which will launch next year, is designed to simplify the parts ordering process and speed up fulfillment times.
“The real horsepower behind Excelerator is that it links our entire network — the dealer management systems, parts distribution centers and Alliance parts stores,” Kurschner said. “Excelerator makes it even easier for the customer to get the right part at the right time for the right price.”
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