Unit sales by Daimler Trucks in 2019 slightly down on previous year, as expected

In News, Daimler3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJanuary 6, 2020

Daimler Trucks sold fewer vehicles in 2019 than in 2018 in a market environment that has been weakening significantly since the [northern] summer. In the first 11 months of 2019, sales of 446,800 units by the brands  Mercedes-Benz, FUSO, Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses and BharatBenz were 4% lower than in the previous year (January to November 2018: 466,900). Daimler AG will announce the exact sales figures for full-year 2019 on 11 February.

In 2020, Daimler Trucks anticipates the further normalisation of the particularly high demand of recent years and significant decreases in the core markets of the NAFTA region, Europe and Japan. Daimler Trucks will provide a more precise outlook on the development of its core markets when its full-year figures are announced in February. At the same time, the company is preparing to cope with increasing investment and cost pressure in the coming years. Substantial investment is required in new technologies, including in a CO2-neutral fleet with electric drive systems and in the automation and connectivity of trucks and buses.

“Important markets such as Europe and North America weakened faster than expected in the second half of the year. We started preparing for this already in the summer and immediately adjusted our production. However, we are not at all satisfied with our return on sales in 2019. We have therefore initiated extensive structural measures to increase our margin to at least 7% by 2022. In 2020, we will significantly improve our cost position while continuing to invest in the future. We have a first-class team at Daimler Trucks and have shown in the past that we can act with great determination,” said Martin Daum, chairman of the board of management of Daimler Truck AG.

With the outlined measures in place, Daimler Trucks & Buses anticipates a return on sales in its current business of 6% in 2019, at least 5% in 2020, and at least 7% in 2022. In addition to the short-term adjustment of production to decreasing demand, especially in Europe and the Unites States, the company has also initiated numerous structural measures to improve profitability in the medium term. One focus is on increasing profitability at Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Europe and Latin America, above all by reducing variable costs by €250 million (NZ$419m) and personnel costs by €300 million (NZ$503) by the end of 2022. In Brazil, the number of vehicle platforms will be reduced significantly while at the same time modernising the remaining portfolio in order to return to profitability. In Japan, the sales and after-sales organisation will be structured more efficiently.