March 24 - Following February's resignation of Dr Wolfgang Bernhard at the world's largest heavy truck manufacturer, Daimler Truck and Bus has appointed his successor and announced a new ceo for its North American operation.

The man who now has overall global responsibility for Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Freightliner, Fuso, Western Star, BharatBenz and Daimler's bus brands, is the former ceo of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), Martin Daum.

Daum faces some tough challenges in his new role. By its standards, Daimler had a difficult 2016 with contracting global markets resulting in a 14 percent fall in sales to 493,000 units and revenues decreasing by EUR4 billion (USD4.3 billion).

An economist by training, Daum started his career as a trainee executive with Daimler-Benz in 1987. Prior to moving to head up Daimler's US commercial vehicle operation, he was vice president production at Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Germany, with responsibility for Mercedes' vast truck plant in Wörth. Daimler's commercial-vehicle business in the US and NAFTA region developed significantly under Daum's leadership.

Despite the collapse in the North American Class 8 truck market, DTNA's market share in NAFTA Class 6 to 8 trucks for 2017 year-to-date stands at 40.8 percent.

The new president and ceo of DTNA, is Roger Nielsen. Nielsen began his career as an engineer with the Freightliner Corporation in 1986. Since 2001, Nielsen has been responsible for the entire DTNA manufacturing network, as well as all levels of operations in quality, supplier management, logistics, and customer application engineering. Prior to this he was president of Freightliner Specialty Vehicles, which bodes well for DTNA's heavy haulage customers.

The new boss of Freightliner Trucks, Western Star Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, the Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation and the Detroit Diesel Corporation, said about his appointment: "I look forward to building on the outstanding success achieved by the DTNA team under Martin's leadership."


Martin Daum

Roger Nielsen