DaimlerChrysler Truck Group again posts record sales in 2006
January 17, 2007
|||Total of 537,000 trucks sold worldwide|
|||Andreas Renschler, Board of Management member responsible for the Truck Group:
The sales success is a reflection of our customer focus and technological leadership
|Stuttgart DaimlerChrysler sold more trucks last year than ever before. At 537,000 units, truck sales by the company were 1.4% higher than in 2005 (529,500 units). On the one hand, the DaimlerChrysler Truck Group could profit from a high market level in the Triad, mainly caused by pre-buy effects in response to new emissions limits in the U.S. and Japan. On the other hand, the Truck Groups five brands offering a full range of attractive models and innovative products such as the Blue-Tec diesel system contributed to this success.
Sales development varied in the individual global markets. Truck Group sales increased in all of the triad markets, rising to 106,400 units in Western Europe (2005: 102,400), 187,800 units in the NAFTA region (2005: 183,000) and 71,100 units in Japan (2005: 59,200). In South America, sales rose from 38,900 to 39,500 units. In the remaining regions of the world, sales decreased due to weaker markets to 132,200 units (2005: 146,100).
Andreas Renschler, DaimlerChrysler Board of Management member responsible for the Truck Group & Buses, said: The Truck Group offers customer-focused products on all continents. Throughout the world, these products are the technological leaders in their respective segments a fact that is also reflected in our sales success. Renschler continued: As a result of cyclical and regulatory developments, we expect the markets in NAFTA and Japan to weaken significantly in 2007, while we anticipate that the demand in the European markets will contract only slightly. But because we are focused on our core business and provide our customers excellent products and services, we are well-equipped to handle this challenge. In addition, we expect the markets to recover in 2008 because new emissions regulations will probably lead to pre-buy effects.
At 142,100 units, Trucks Europe/Latin America (Mercedes-Benz) sold 4.0% fewer vehicles than in the record year 2005 (148,000). On the other hand, sales were substantially above the previous years level in the core markets of Western Europe, particularly in Germany. The main factor for this success continued to be the companys flagship truck, the Actros. Sales of this truck totaled 59,700 units, thus matching the high level posted in 2005 (59,500). Sales increases in Western and Eastern Europe were offset by declines in regions such as the Middle East as well as by a declining market in Brazil.
The Mercedes-Benz trucks equipped with environmentally friendly Blue-Tec technology for meeting the Euro 4/5 emissions limits were particularly successful in the market, with more than 28,000 units sold in 2006. A total of nearly 40,000 of these trucks have been sold since Blue-Tec technology was introduced in early 2005.
In the summer of 2006, Mercedes-Benz Trucks conducted an EU road show, during which it successfully presented its Safety Truck to the media and government officials in twelve major European cities. The Safety Truck is fitted with all available series-produced assistance and safety systems whose effectiveness has been demonstrated in a large-scale trial for the insurance industry. In addition, Mercedes-Benz rounded out its range of special vehicles by introducing the new Unimog U20 at Hanover commercial vehicle show in September 2006.
Last year, Trucks NAFTA increased sales by 2.8% to 208,300 units (2005: 202,600). Trucks NAFTA sells trucks from the Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star brands, as well as Sprinter vans (bearing the Freightliner and Dodge nameplate) and buses from Thomas Built Buses. In the NAFTA region, Freightliner maintained its market leadership with Class 8 heavy-duty trucks and its number two position in the segment for Class 5-7 medium-duty trucks.
The rapid development and market launch of the Sterling 360 in the NAFTA region was possible as a result of the close cooperation within the Truck Group. The Sterling 360 is a light truck based on the Mitsubishi Fuso Canter. In 2006, Freightliner also presented the prototype of a Business Class M2 medium-duty truck with hybrid drivetrain. The Truck Group plans to continue to promote the more widespread use of hybrid commercial vehicles in the North American market.
Compared to the previous year, sales at Trucks Asia (encompassing the Mitsubishi Fuso brand) increased by 4.3%, rising from 178,900 units to 186,600. Now that the quality issues that predated DaimlerChryslers share acquisition in Mitsubishi Fuso have largely been resolved, the company has been able to increase sales and market shares especially in its core Japanese market. The hard work of the Fuso team and the consistent improvement in quality have enabled us to regain our customers trust, said Renschler. In addition, pre-buy effects in response to the upcoming Japan 05 emissions limit had a positive effect as well. Although sales outside of Japan decreased, the decrease was the result of a decline in Fusos largest export market, Indonesia. In most other export markets, Trucks Asia significantly increased sales.
In July 2006, Mitsubishi Fuso introduced in Tokyo the pioneering Canter Eco Hybrid with superior environmental performance. The vehicle was first launched in the Japanese market. As well, the worldwide market launch of the new generation Canter with regular diesel drive was also continued successfully throughout 2006.