Daimler Trucks achieved its objectives again in 2014. While unit sales and revenues rose slightly last year, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) from continuing operations grew significantly by 18% to €2.07 billion (PY €1.75 bn) . Return on sales thus rose to 6.4% (PY 5.6%).
Daimler Trucks expects significant increases in unit sales and profit for 2015 as well. The Daimler AG business division with six independent and two partner brands will profit from the consistent implementation of its strategy and the continuously improved efficiency of its operative units. The successfully implemented excellence program DT#1 will thus show its full effect in the current year. Technological leadership, global market presence and intelligent platforms – the world market leader in trucks is relying on these three pillars for the continued expansion of its position in the future.
Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Trucks and Buses, said at the traditional yearly press conference of the division: “In 2014, we achieved what we promised – despite partly weaker markets – and improved our results significantly. In 2015, we plan to stay on this successful course and again increase our unit sales and operating profit. We will thus continue to come closer to our long-term objectives step by step.”
In the year 2020, Daimler Trucks is looking to sell 700,000 units and aims to achieve in the medium term a return on sales of 8% over the cycle.
Platform strategy will be promoted
Daimler Trucks has great brand diversity, a strong brand presence and the highest unit numbers in the industry as global market leader, and is thus in a good starting position for the utilization of platforms. On the basis of well proven technology Daimler Truck is able to quickly enter new markets. This is a major advantage of the modular system. At the same time, economies of scale and efficient production can be achieved. In recent years, Daimler Trucks has already introduced a platform for heavy-duty engines in North America, Europe and Japan. A second example is the automated powershift transmission, which is meanwhile being used not only in Mercedes-Benz trucks but as DT12 also in Daimler trucks of the Freightliner and Western Star brands in North America. However, the plans extend even further and also include intelligent platforms for medium-duty engines, cabs, electronics and chassis.
Strong incoming orders, but uncertainties remain
A reason for cautious optimism towards the full year 2015 is the orders intake in the fourth quarter of 2014, which jumped by 45% year-on-year to around 173,000 units. This has created a solid basis for the desired sales growth in the current cycle.
However, the political and economic uncertainties still remain and will also continue to affect the investment propensity of truck customers. These include the Ukraine crisis and conflicts in the Middle East as well as the pronounced weakness of the large economies in Latin America, led by Brazil and Argentina.
Successful year 2014 – growth in unit sales, revenue and profit
Despite the partly weaker markets, 2014 was a successful year for Daimler Trucks. The announced targets were achieved; unit sales and operating profit were above the previous year’s level. Unit sales went up by 2% to around 496,000 units, the highest level since 2006. Thus, the target of 500,000 sold trucks set for 2015 has also virtually been achieved a full year earlier. Thanks to its global presence, Daimler Trucks was able to overcompensate for weaker markets like Brazil and Europe with strong performance, especially in North America and Japan.