Features International News — 25 February 2019

Coming off the best sales figure it has ever achieved Daimler Trucks North America has proclaimed it is is pursuing goals of Accident-free driving and 100 per cent uptime.

Senior vice president of sales and marketing for DTNA, Richard Howard, who was in Australia last year, made the announcement to the US trade press recently revealing the sales figures and ahead of the first on road test drives of the new Freightliner Cascadia with Level 2 autonomous capability.

DTNA sold a massive 175,000 trucks  in  the USA and Canada last year or almost four times  the total Australian truck market. 

It was aq remarkable performance for DTNA taking a whopping 48 per cent of the U.S. Class 8 heavy market along with 45.5 per cent  of the Canadian Class 8 sector and grabbing 47.4 per cent of the entire NAFTA Class 8 market. 

In the lighter heavy medium Class 6 and 7 segments, the company held  41.3 per cent market share in the U.S., 25.4 per cent  in Canada and 40.6 per cent of the total NAFTA market.

While  there are some jitters in the North American market with many considering the implications of the decisions of the current US administration, Richard Howard believes the market will stay buoyant and while it has full order books Howard says DTNA has taken steps to protect itself against mass cancellations, should a downturn happen.

“In July of last year, we had a deep review of all dealer orders, reaffirming orders to ensure the orders we have are based on customer demand and not speculative orders from our dealer network,” said Howard.

“We moved to an allocation system in 2018 to ensure all dealers get a fair approach to have product allocated. We reviewed the order intake again deeply in October-November and again reviewed the kind of validation of order intake we have for 2019,” he said.

Normally DTNA banks on a cancellation rate of around three per cent but it is currently running at around half that rate.

“We are staying close to our customers to understand their real needs,” he said. “Even today, we have more order intake than we can handle in 2019.”

DTNA says its order books are full for the year ahead, an enviable position to be in and it is also seeing enormous uptake for its own Detroit Diesel powertrain, with 95 per cent of its trucks being ordered with the Daimler drivelines and 75 per cent taking up its Daimler/Detroit active safety and crash mitigation technology.

“It’s a great position to be in,” said Howard in a classic understatement.

Meantime globally  2018 was the most successful year in the history of Daimler Trucks with record sales along with , revenue and earnings around the world. 

Daimler’s truck division increased unit sales by 10 per cent, selling  517,300 vehicles in 2018 up from 470,700 in 2017.

The company recorded double-digit sales growth in major markets such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Area), Brazil and India. 

Earning the equivalent of $AUD61.1 billion (38.3 billion euros), in revenue was almost $AUD4.5 billion better than in 2017 ($AUD58.8 bilion or 35.8 billion euros). 

Daimler Truck earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was also a record totalling $AUD4.36 billion (2.75 billion euros) for 2018 , up by 16 per cent on the previous year’s figure. 

“2018 was the most successful year in the history of Daimler Trucks and we took advantage of tailwinds in key markets and achieved new highs for unit sales,” said said Martin Daum, Daimler’s board director responsible for trucks and buses.

“Our results for 2018 prove that we have the right products and services for the most diverse markets and regions and our customers move the world while our shared task at Daimler Trucks and Buses in 2019 will be to provide them with the best possible support,”

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