Daimler has plans aplenty after best global sales year

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  • Plant & Equipment

Truckmaking parent firm predicts 2019 to edge record 2018 performance


How Daimler Trucks fares globally this year will say much on the global economic performance in uncertain times.

The company is aiming to achieve a return on sales of 7- 9 per cent for the current fiscal year.

And further down the track, the international truck-making powerhouse expects its electric propulsion investments in its e-trucks to frank its mid- to long-term growth.

EV outlook

"Daimler Trucks is the only globally operating truck manufacturer to offer all-electric trucks across all segments: from the Fuso eCanter in the light-duty segment and the Freightliner eM2 in the medium-duty segment to the Mercedes-Benz eActros, Freightliner eCascadia and E-Fuso Vision One in the heavy-duty segment," the group says.

"With the Fuso eCanter and the Mercedes-Benz eActros, vehicles are already being tested under normal operating conditions by customers in the United States, Europe and Japan.

"In December 2018, Freightliner handed over the first Freightliner eM2 to Penske Truck Leasing Ltd in the United States.

"In June 2018, the division combined all its electrification activities for trucks and buses under the roof of the E-Mobility Group.

"The E-Mobility Group defines the strategy for all electrical components and complete electric vehicles across all brands and divisions.

"In addition, EMG is developing a globally uniform architecture, comparable to the successful global platform strategy for conventional drive systems and major components."

Mercedes-Benz Trucks will start a practical test this northern spring with an eActros together with the transportation company Logistik Schmitt.

One year before the test route in the region goes into operation for trucks powered by "catenary lines" – the overhead power lines more often seen with trains and popular with northern European truckmakers  – the 25-ton Mercedes-Benz truck will cover a daily distance of about 168km in three-shift.

Comparative tests will then be carried out with the eActros as a semitrailer with higher tonnage and range in the eWayBW overhead line project in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg, which is to start in spring 2020 after the infrastructure has been installed.

"Everything indicates that we are on the right track with the eActros concept," Mercedes-Benz Trucks head Stefan Buchner says.

"We are delighted that Logistik Schmitt is now using the eActros in the Murgtal area and look forward to further interesting findings from operational practice, also with regard to the later comparative tests in the catenary line project."


Automation is also on the agenda for the year after unveiling developments at the IAA Commercial Vehicles trade fair and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

"Daimler Trucks is also making partially automated driving available to its customers in Asia with the Fuso Super Great starting this year," it says.

"Following the introduction of partially automated driving (Level 2), the company is now focusing on the development of highly automated trucks (Level 4)."

The preview comes as Daimler’s truck division increased its unit sales by 10 percent to 517,300 vehicles in the year under review – its highest unit sales (2017: 470,700).

Daimler Trucks recorded double-digit sales growth rates in major markets and regions such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA – Canada US, Mexico) region, Brazil and India.

"We took advantage of tailwinds in key markets and achieved new highs for unit sales, revenue and earnings," Daimler board member for truck and bus Martin Daum says.

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


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