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January 27, 2014 3:15 AM, EST

Howard Will Succeed Retiring Lampert as DTNA Senior VP of Sales, Marketing

By Michael G. Malloy, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Jan. 27 print edition of Transport Topics.

Daimler Trucks North America announced last week that Mark Lampert, senior vice president of sales and marketing, will retire at the end of March and be succeeded by longtime executive Richard Howard.

“Daimler Trucks North America owes a huge debt of gratitude for Mark’s unwavering commitment to sales and marketing excellence,” CEO Martin Daum said in a Jan. 22 statement. “His goal of achieving undisputed market leadership is unquestioned as he leaves the company’s sales and marketing team positioned for continued prosperity.”

Howard currently leads Daimler’s financial services business for Asia and Africa and has been with Daimler for more than two decades. He will relocate to DTNA’s Portland, Ore., corporate headquarters.

“I am excited by this opportunity to lead [DTNA’s] sales and marketing group,” Howard said. “We have an outstanding team, and I applaud Mark Lampert’s performance pacing the industry in each and every vehicle segment.”

Lampert was named to his current position in July 2005. The post, which was new at that time, was created to oversee sales for DTNA’s truck brands, including its flagship Freightliner Trucks, and the company’s engine and parts businesses.

Lampert has been with Daimler for more than 20 years, beginning as vice president of sales for the Freightliner Canada unit.

During Lampert’s tenure, DTNA maintained its corporate market-share lead in North American Class 8s, topping rivals Paccar Inc., Volvo Group and Navistar International Corp.

“I am extremely grateful to have spent over 20 years with this great company, and I am deeply honored to have had the opportunity to lead Freightliner to its present position as undisputed market leader across each and every commercial vehicle segment,” Lampert said.

The company also makes Detroit brand engines, transmissions and axles. DTNA’s subsidiary is still formally Detroit Diesel Corp., which dates back to 1938 as a part of General Motors, but since 2012, it has marketed a variety of truck components under the Detroit brand name.

Daimler’s other major North American truck brand is Western Star. The corporation discontinued its Sterling line in 2009.

Freightliner’s U.S. Class 8 market share during Lampert’s tenure rose from about 30% in 2005 to 36.6% last year. Western Star remains a niche brand with a 1% to 2% share in both time periods.

Despite dropping a truck brand, DTNA was able to increase combined U.S. Class 8 market share from 2005 to 2013.

DTNA’s overall heavy-truck share — including a 6.2% slice for Sterling in 2005 — rose to 38.2% last year from 37.6% in 2005. Last year, DTNA was the only heavy-duty North American truck-making corporation to generate higher sales compared with 2012, selling more than 70,000 Class 8s.

Lampert said in a statement that he was retiring “for a variety of reasons, [including] . . . spending more time with my wife, children and grandchildren.”