D/C restructures r&d globally to reduces costs on commercial vehicles

Stuttgart. DaimlerChrysler is expecting annual savings of many millions of euros from its commercial trucks and bus division through a new orientation of its organizational structure that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2004.

Research and development for the large commercial trucks of Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner (including Sterling and Western Star), Fuso-Mitsubishi (43 percent owned by D/C) will be concentrated under the direction of Gerald Weber.

DaimlerChrysler hopes to raise cost effectiveness and competitiveness of the group's products by utilizing economies of scale and synergies.

Eckhard Cordes, president of the commercial vehicles division, said: "Why do we need three types of engines, three types of transmissions and axles for trucks in the same class worldwide?"

The global development of commercial vehicles will be lead by the principle of as much standardization as possible and as much regionalization as necessary. The new structure will be fully effective by 2006, as new models replace current ones.

Cordes has dissolved the Power Systems business group, which originally was supposed to sell power trains outside of the group and thereby generate profits.

Two reasons acted in favor of dissolution: the revenues stayed below expectations and technical achievements should be reserved for the brands of the group. The light commercial sector and the bus sector are excluded from those measures as both are already well prepared for future requirements.

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