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Sterling to cease operations; Bullet dropped

by David Zatz on

Sterling, which was purchased by Daimler-Benz eleven years ago, is ceasing production of its L-line, A-line, and Acterra trucks as of March 27, 2009. New orders for these vehicles will be accepted through mid-January, 2009. However, orders for the Sterling Bullet, Sterling’s version of the Dodge Ram 4500 / 5500 chassis cab – built in Mexico by Chrysler – are no longer accepted. 

Sterling had negative earnings in eight out of the eleven years it was owned by Daimler. While there were many dealers dedicated the brand, its brand positioning was similar to Freightliner, another company purchased by Daimler (and currently being sharply downsized). The company was not the market leader in any segment during its stay at Daimler, and had declining sales with aging product. Attempts to compete in new markets were unsuccessful, due partly to overlap with Freightliner. 

Sterling’s St. Thomas, Ontario plant is being closed, due to lack of demand for new trucks.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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