Freightliner range gets full overhaul
TWO updated models and a replacement for a Sterling mixer will strengthen the Freightliner range this year.
The Mercedes-owned brand has struggled with delayed access to new trucks and fresh engines in the past few years, but Freightliner is now on a mission to update its range.
This process started with the introduction of the big and bold Coronado late last year.
‘‘This is the start of an offensive for the Freightliner business,’’ says Mercedes-Benz Australia chief Hans Tempel.
‘‘In the next 18 months we will be in a position to replace our entire product range.’’
The first model to be introduced is the short-bonnet Columbia CST 112, which will replace the current Columbia CL 112 and slots in below the Coronado.
The CST 112, which will be launched this month will upgrade to the new 13-litre engines available from both Detroit Diesel, the DD13, and Cummins, the ISX.
With the Sterling brand now officially retired, Freightliner is looking to replace the much-loved 7500 mixer.
Freightliner says it is yet to finalise the details of this truck, but says prototype models are currently being tested. The new model will be presented for the first time at the Brisbane Truck Show in May.
Another new Freightliner to be presented for the first time at the show is the new cab-over Argosy.
Freightliner stopped producing the current Argosy for the US market in 2006 given the American preference for bonneted trucks, but it will continue to produce it for export markets including Australia.
The new Argosy will have a new look as well as being available with the new Detroit Diesel and Cummins engines. It will go on sale around October.
These new trucks can’t come soon enough for the Freightliner team, with Temple admitting some customers and dealers had questioned the value of the Freightliner brand. He says Freightliner sales are not where he wants them to be either.
‘‘In recent years Freightliner has seen some difficulties in Australia, this is related to the product issues we’ve had.
‘‘Due to the fact that we have withdrawn certain products from the market it takes some time for them to be replaced and we are now in the process of doing that,’’ Temple says.