Daimler Trucks sold fewer vehicles in 2019 than in 2018 in a market environment that has been weakening significantly since last summer.
At 446,800 units, sales in the first 11 months of 2019 by the brands Mercedes-Benz, FUSO, Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses and Bharat Benz were 4% lower than sales in the first 11 months of 2018.
Daimler AG will announce the exact sales figures for full-year 2019 at its annual press conference on 11 February.
Martin Daum, chairman of Daimler Truck AG (www.daimler.com
), said: “Important markets such as Europe and North America weakened faster than expected in the second half of the year. We started preparing for this in the summer and immediately adjusted our production.
"However, we are not at all satisfied with our return on sales in 2019, so we have initiated extensive structural measures to increase our margin to at least 7% by 2022.
"In 2020, we will significantly improve our cost position, while continuing to invest in the future. We have a first-class team at Daimler Trucks and have shown in the past that we can act with great determination.”
In addition to the short-term adjustment of production to decreasing demand, especially in Europe and the USA, the company has also initiated ‘numerous structural measures’ to improve profitability in the medium term.
One focus is on increasing profitability at Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Europe and Latin America by reducing variable costs by 250 million euros and personnel costs by 300 million euros by the end of 2022.
“In Brazil, the number of vehicle platforms will be reduced significantly, while at the same time modernising the remaining portfolio in order to return to profitability.
“In Japan, the sales and after-sales organisation will be structured more efficiently.”