Western Star expands engineering support for Oz

Dedicated engineering section for Western Star a belated Christmas present for the popular American brand

February 4, 2010

A dedicated engineering section for Western Star, separate from other Daimler Trucks engineering sections, is the belated Christmas present for the popular American brand.

Headed by Randy DeBertoli, the newly appointed Head of Engineering at Western Star, the new department will be based in Portland, Oregon near Western Star’s assembly plant.

Western Star says the division will "design and develop new Western Star products and options for global markets including Australia and New Zealand".

DeBortoli says many of the staff in the new section have "significant" experience in the Western Star product as well as "providing solutions for heavy duty applications like those that are experienced in Australia".

"It is important that the Western Star product evolves with its customer base and that base is about heavy duty trucks with custom engineering solutions," DeBortoli says.

Doug Shand, General Manager of Western Star Trucks Australia, says the new engineering section is a "clear indication" of the support the brand receives from its parent company, and a reward for success in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Following the decision to close the Sterling brand in 2009, Daimler Trucks announced it would be using a combination of Freightliner and Western Star products to replace Sterling in the United States.

Despite this stance in its home market, it was unclear how this would impact on Western Star in Australia, where it is not part of the Daimler Trucks inventory, instead being handled by a separate distributor.

"The combination of this dedicated Western Star Trucks engineering team and our own Australia-based engineering team will only enhance and improve the products and options we have available for our Australian and New Zealand customers now and in the future," Shand says.

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