Sterling Trucks

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Sterling Trucks Corporation
Industry Automotive
Founded 1907
Defunct 2009
Headquarters Redford Township, Michigan, U.S.
Products Trucks
Owner Daimler AG
Parent Daimler Trucks North America

Sterling Trucks Corporation, commonly designated Sterling, was an American truck manufacturer headquartered in Redford Township, Michigan, USA, and a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of the German Daimler AG. It was originally the heavy truck division of Ford Motor Company, but was purchased and rebranded in 1997.[1] Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, its conventional trucks were built in St. Thomas, Ontario. Sterling-brand trucks were sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand.

On October 14, 2008, Daimler Trucks North America announced a plan to discontinue the Sterling product line in an effort to consolidate its North American truck manufacturing operations under the Freightliner and Western Star brands. The company stopped taking orders for new trucks in January 2009, the St. Thomas manufacturing plant closed in March 2009, and the Portland, Oregon, plant was closed in June, 2010.[2]


A street-cleaning truck in Seattle by the original Sterling company

The company was founded in 1907 by William Sternberg as the Sternberg Motor Truck Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Early models offered were of cab-over design, in 1-, 1.5- 3.5- and 5-ton capacities. Sternberg changed the company name to Sterling at the onset of World War I. Sterling built many different heavy duty trucks for commercial, construction and military customers in the ensuing years.

The company was bought by White Motor Co on June 1, 1951. About two years later, the Sterling nameplate was retired. Although technically the property of the White Motor Co., and conveyed to its successor, Volvo-White Motor Co., which evolved into Volvo Trucks North America, the trademark had lain dormant so long that there were no grounds for objection when Daimler-Benz subsidiary Freightliner—whose trucks were distributed by White from the 1950s through 1975—resurrected it to supplant the Ford blue oval on their HN80 ("AeroMax") family of trucks after the purchase.

Sterling built class 8 tractors, as well as a range of medium and heavy duty cab/chassis vehicles. With bodies added by third-party upfitters/body builders, these cab/chassis vehicles were used for freight distribution as well as heavy vocational uses, such as construction, snow plowing and refuse collection.

In the last few years of operation, the company also marketed light medium-duty cab/chassis vehicles manufactured by Mitsubishi Fuso (Sterling 360 models) and Dodge (Sterling Bullet models). These were typically outfitted with bodies suitable for use as lighter vocational trucks — those designed to perform jobs other than straight freight hauling — including fire trucks, garbage trucks, dump trucks, concrete mixers, tanker trucks, and snowplows.


Sterling HX9500 MBE
Sterling Bullet

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Daimler to Close Sterling Trucks Unit, Cut 3,500 Jobs". Retrieved 3 September 2009. 
  2. ^ "Daimler Trucks North America Plans Decisive Response to Changed Economic Environment". Retrieved 18 June 2009. 
  3. ^ "New Sterling 360 completes lineup". 2006-04-01. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  4. ^ "PickupTruck.Com - Sterling Bullet Debuts at NTEA Work Truck Show". Retrieved 2012-03-01. 

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