Ian Bruce, the man who introduced Freightliner to Australia has passed away in Melbourne, survived by his wife Betty.

Ian’s career as a sales and marketing executive at Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles in Mulgrave, Victoria was backed by his vast truck industry experience and enabled him to see the potential of the Freightliner brand, which Mercedes-Benz acquired in 1981.

He suggested Freightliner should develop a right-hand drive truck programme and this led to  two FLC prototypes being built and sent to Australia for evaluation. Freightliner then engineered the second generation FLC 112 in right-hand drive, intruding the brand to Australia in 1989.

Ian retired soon after the launch of Freightliner in this country, ending a stellar career that started at Melbourne’s H.W. Taylor Motor car accessories back in 1938.

He completed an apprenticeship at the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation and worked for a range of brands including G.M. Holden, Ansett, Cummins, Caltex, Kenworth, International Harvester and others.

Daimler Truck and Bus CEO and President, Daniel Whitehead, paid tribute to Ian this week.

“Ian identified the massive potential of the Freightliner brand in Australia and dedicated eight years of his working life to bring it here. We are very grateful to Ian for his role in introducing Freightliner to Australian customers and are determined to continue his legacy,” Daniel added.

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