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Sterling

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Sterling, founded in 1998, is a relatively young company quickly becoming a prominent manufacturer of vocational trucks. With headquarters in Redford, Michigan, all conventional trucks are built at the Sterling Truck Manufacturing Plant in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. All other vehicles are built overseas, in Mexico, or within the U.S.

Formerly a division of Ford Motor Co., Freightliner LLC (now Daimler Trucks North America)  purchased Sterling to gain a larger portion of the heavy truck industry. With its acquisition, it was able to increase its market share to 38 per cent. On the other hand, Ford, by divesting itself of the company, increased focus on designing and manufacturing automobiles.

As of October 2008, Sterling trucks have been discontinued.  Service and warranty work will be available for years to come.[1]

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[edit] History

As a division of Ford Motor Co., Sterling did not exist as such; instead, it was known as Ford's heavy truck industry. Its factory was located in Louisville, Kentucky, and employed 3,900 people. Ford also owned a manufacturing facility in Brisbane, Australia that employed 150 people.[2]

[edit] The Freightliner Takeover

Throughout the 1990s, Ford's market share in the heavy truck industry was dwindling, causing it to sell the division to a prominent truck company, Freightliner LLC. The deal would prove beneficial for both sides. Freightliner could increase its market share, while Ford could rid itself of a money-losing operation.

[edit] Resurrecting Sterling

With its new acquisition, Freightliner began developing an identity for its new company. While the brand name "Sterling" already had a history with one of its former partners, White Motor Co., Freightliner rekindled the name because it had been retired since 1955. The swooping "S" symbol for Sterling brand fit perfectly over the former oval-shaped logo of Ford. So in 1998 the Sterling name was reborn, as was the company's identity.

In 2008, Freightliner changed its name to Daimler Trucks North America.

[edit] The Company Today

In October 2008, Daimler Trucks of North America announced their decision to discontinue sales of Sterling trucks.  This move was a reaction to the economic conditions brought on by the global recessions.  Parts, services, and warranties will be available for many years into the future.[3]

Sterling trucks continue to be utlized in construction markets in the form of mixers, pump trucks, dump and block trucks, cranes and heavy haul tractors; distribution applications such as tankers, refrigerated and dry van trucks, day-cab tractors, pickup and delivery vehicles; regional haul applications such as wholesale and retail day-cab and sleepers; and government and municipal applications designed for refuse, recycling, fire and rescue, snowplow, towing, tree service, municipal dump and utility applications.

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[edit] References

  1. Sterling Trucks. An Important Message To Our Customers [May 15, 2009].
  2. Ford Agrees to Sell Heavy Truck Business. NY times. 2008-09-09.
  3. Sterling Trucks. An Important Message To Our Customers [May 15, 2009].

[edit] External Links