Daim­ler Trucks …

Sells nearly 500 000 units in 2014, de­spite many eco­nomic chal­lenges

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — Sup­plied.

DAIM­LER Trucks sold almost half a mil­lion trucks world wide last year, de­spite dif­fi­cult mar­ket con­di­tions in some ar­eas.

The group de­liv­ered 445 300 units in the first 11 months of 2014, an in­crease by three per­cent over the same pe­riod last year.

Based on first De­cem­ber fig­ures, Daim­ler Trucks fin­ished 2014 with a con­sid­er­ably pos­i­tive sales growth reach­ing nearly 500 000 units. Fi­nal world­wide sales fig­ures will be pub­lished at Daim­ler’s an­nual press con­fer­ence. In 2013, Daim­ler Trucks sold about 484 200 ve­hi­cles of the Mercedes-Benz, FUSO, Freight­liner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses and BharatBenz brands.

“Our in­tense ef­forts in all re­gions are pay­ing div­i­dends. De­spite many eco­nomic chal­lenges in some key mar­kets, we can look back on 12 suc­cess­ful months. With almost 500 000 trucks sold, we are al­ready com­ing very close to our tar­get en­vis­aged for 2015,” said Dr Wolf­gang Bern­hard, mem­ber of the board of man­age­ment of Daim­ler AG re­spon­si­ble for Daim­ler Trucks and Buses.

For com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, 2014 was dom­i­nated by de­vel­op­ments that var­ied widely from one re­gion to the next. Weak eco­nomic prospects and po­lit­i­cal uncer­tain­ties put a strain on the mar­ket de­vel­op­ment in Latin Amer­ica. In Europe, sales were im­pacted by the lack of dy­namic eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, in ad­di­tion to the in­tro­duc­tion of the new Euro VI emis­sions stan­dards and the dif­fi­cult po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in East­ern Europe.

The sit­u­a­tion is very dif­fer­ent in North Amer­ica and Ja­pan — in th­ese mar­kets Daim­ler ben­e­fited from the strong over­all lo­cal business en­vi­ron­ment for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles. “We scored points with our strong prod­ucts. With a strong sales team and ve­hi­cles per­fectly tai­lored to the par­tic­u­lar cus­tomer needs, we man­aged to in­crease our mar­ket po­si­tions in many key re­gions,” said Bern­hard.

One ma­jor rea­son for the high mar­ket ac­cep­tance for trucks from Daim­ler is the ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive to­tal cost of own­er­ship of the ve­hi­cles, which is the most im­por­tant ar­gu­ment for buy­ers of trucks as a cap­i­tal good. En­hanced ef­fi­ciency for the good of the cus­tomer is paramount in all re­gions, for all brands and for all ve­hi­cle mod­els.

About the prospects for the com­ing year Bern­hard said: “With our global pres­ence, our tech­no­log­i­cal lead­er­ship and our in­tel­li­gent plat­form strat­egy, we are well-pre­pared to re­act swiftly and ap­pro­pri­ately to un­pre­dictabil­i­ties in the eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment. That is why we at Daim­ler Trucks will con­tinue to work steadily on fur­ther ex­pand­ing our po­si­tion as the world’s lead­ing truck man­u­fac­turer in 2015.”

The high­light of 2014 at Daim­ler Trucks was the Mercedes-Benz Fu­ture Truck 2025. The au­tonomously driv­ing truck was pre­sented at the 65th In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show for Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles in Hanover in Septem­ber.

The Fu­ture Truck 2025 pro­tects re­sources, re­duces all types of emis­sions, guar­an­tees max­i­mum traf­fic safety and in­creases con­nec­tiv­ity in road traf­fic. Radar sen­sors and cam­era tech­nol­ogy make it pos­si­ble for the Fu­ture Truck 2025 to drive au­tonomously, in­de­pen­dent from other ve­hi­cles or con­trol cen­tres. Mercedes-Benz com­bines this tech­nol­ogy within the highly in­tel­li­gent “High­way Pi­lot” sys­tem, a sys­tem sim­i­lar to an au­topi­lot in an air­craft.

“The Mercedes-Benz Fu­ture Truck 2025 epit­o­mises ef­fi­ciency, safety and con­nec­tiv­ity like no other truck. Con­se­quently, it pro­vides rel­e­vant an­swers to the fu­ture chal­lenges in road freight trans­port. That is why I am con­vinced that this tech­nol­ogy will open up new business prospects for Daim­ler Trucks in the fu­ture,” said Bern­hard.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Freight­liner was among the brands that helped the Daim­ler group sell almost half a mil­lion trucks last year.

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