Business development

Unit sales

Daimler increased its total unit sales in the year 2018 by 2 % to 3.4 million vehicles, thus achieving its growth target. The Daimler Trucks (+10 %), Mercedes-Benz Vans (+5 %) and Daimler Buses (+8 %) divisions confirmed the forecasts made at the beginning of the year. With an increase of 0.4 %, unit sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars were slightly higher than in the previous year. The division therefore did not fully achieve the target it had set at the beginning of the year.

The Mercedes-Benz Cars division sold a total of 2,382,800 vehicles in 2018 despite difficult overall conditions, thus setting a new record (2017: 2,373,500). With unit sales of 2,252,800 (2017: 2,238,000) vehicles, the Mercedes-Benz brand was the strongest-selling premium brand in the automobile industry for the third year in succession. We are number one in the premium segment in Germany and several other key European markets, as well as in the United States, South Korea, Canada and Japan. In addition, we once again significantly improved our position in China with a new sales record.

Our E-Class models were particularly successful. At 433,600 units (+9 %), E-Class sales once again reached a new record level. Our attractive range of sport-utility vehicles also performed well on the market once again, with sales increasing by 1 % to 829,200 units. Due to the model change, sales of C-Class vehicles decreased by 3 % to 477,700. Sales of A- and B-Class models were also affected by a model change in the year under review, although the success of the new A-Class led to total deliveries of 409,300 units (-3 %). The S-Class was very successful on the market in 2018. Our total sales in this segment increased by 6 % to 83,800 units. With sales of 77,700 units (+7 %), the S-Class Sedan remains the best-selling luxury sedan in the world. (See graphic B.07)

Daimler AR2018 B.07 Unit sales structure of Mercedes Benz Cars

Mercedes-Benz Cars sold a total of 982,700 vehicles in Europe in 2018 (2017: 1,013,800). Unit sales increased in the volume markets of Germany (+1 %) and Spain (+3 %), remained constant in France, but decreased in the United Kingdom (-7 %) and Italy (-5 %). The Mercedes-Benz Cars division continued its success in China during the year under review. The division’s unit sales in the country rose by 10 % to 677,700 vehicles. We set new records for unit sales also in other Asian markets – for example in India (+1 %), South Korea (+1 %) and Thailand (+5 %). At 392,600 units, total sales in the NAFTA region were lower than the high level of the prior year. Sales decreased in the United States (-3 %) and Canada (-2 %), while sales in Mexico increased by 7 %.

The smart brand sold a total of 130,000 vehicles in 40 markets worldwide in 2018 (2017: 135,500). (see Mercedes-Benz Cars

Unit sales by Daimler Trucks in 2018 were significantly higher than in the previous year. In total, we delivered 517,300 heavy-, medium- and light-duty trucks as well as buses of the Thomas Built Buses and FUSO brands in the year under review (2017: 470,700). Daimler Trucks continues to be the world’s biggest manufacturer of trucks above 6 tons. (See graphic B.08) At 85,400 units, our sales in the EU30 region increased slightly. Our Mercedes-Benz brand remained the market leader in the medium-duty and heavy-duty segments, with a share of 20.6 % (2017: 21.0 %). Our sales in Turkey were very adversely affected by the considerable economic uncertainty in the country. Unit sales in Turkey totaled 5,000 trucks, a decrease of 57 % from the prior year. (See table B.09)

Daimler AR2018 B.08 Unit sale structure of Daimler Trucks

B.09 Market share 1

  2018 2017 18/17
in %   Change in % points
Mercedes-Benz Cars      
European Union 6.2 6.3 -0.1
thereof Germany 10.5 10.5 0.0
United States 1.8 2.0 -0.2
China 2.9 2.6 +0.3
Japan 1.6 1.7 -0.1
Daimler Trucks      
Medium- and heavy-duty trucks EU30 20.6 21.0 -0.4
thereof Germany 36.5 36.4 +0.1
Heavy-duty trucks NAFTA region (Class 8) 38.8 40.0 -1.2
Medium-duty trucks NAFTA region (Classes 6 and 7) 37.8 39.3 -1.5
Medium- and heavy-duty trucks Brazil 27.9 27.6 +0.3
Trucks Japan 19.3 19.6 -0.3
Medium- and heavy-duty trucks India 7.0 9.1 -2.1
Mercedes-Benz Vans      
Mid-size and large vans EU30 15.3 16.7 -1.4
thereof Germany 25.2 27.3 -2.1
Small vans EU30 3.1 3.1 0.0
Large vans United States 8.3 7.5 +0.8
Daimler Buses      
Buses over 8 tons EU30 29.0 28.4 +0.6
thereof Germany 49.3 51.6 -2.3
Buses over 8 tons Brazil 51.6 52.5 -0.9

1 Based on estimates in certain markets.

In Latin America, however, we were able to significantly increase our sales once again, to 38,200 units in the year under review (2017: 30,500). The increase in sales in our main Latin American market, Brazil, made a major contribution to our improved performance in the region. Truck sales in Brazil totaled 21,400 units, an increase of 60 % from the low level of the prior year. We were able to expand our market share to 27.9 % (2017: 27.6 %) and achieved market leadership in the medium- and heavy-duty segments with our Mercedes-Benz trucks. Sales in Argentina decreased to 3,500 units in the year under review (2017: 5,600).

The ongoing positive development of sales in the NAFTA region played a major role in our overall sales growth in 2018. We once again recorded a significant increase in sales in the NAFTA region, to 189,700 units (2017: 165,000). We also remained the market leader in Classes 6–8 with a market share of 38.4 % (2017: 39.8 %).

We increased our sales in Asia by 11 % to 164,700 trucks. Sales in Japan totaled 44,000 units (44,800). Our FUSO brand achieved a market share of 19.3 % in Japan (2017: 19.6 %). Unit sales in Indonesia increased by 50 % compared with the previous year to 64,200 trucks (2017: 42,700). At 9,700 units, our sales in the Middle East were substantially lower than the high figure recorded in the previous year (2017: 23,600). In India, a significant increase in demand for medium- and heavy-duty trucks had a positive impact on our sales and we sold 22,500 trucks in that market in the year under review, an increase of 35 % from the previous year. Our market share with the BharatBenz brand amounted to 7.0 % (2017: 9.1 %).

In China, the world’s biggest truck market, Daimler AG holds a 50 % interest in Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co. Ltd. (BFDA), a joint venture with Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd. Medium- and heavy-duty trucks of the Auman brand have been produced there since 2012. At 103,400 units, sales of Auman trucks were lower than the high figure recorded in the prior year (2017: 112,400), which had been influenced by the favorable economic development and in particular the implementation of regulatory measures relating to truck fleet renewal. 596,700 Auman trucks have been sold since the joint venture was launched. (see Daimler Trucks)

Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved record sales once again in 2018. Unit sales of 421,400 vehicles surpassed the prior-year figure by 5 %. Whereas we mainly focus on commercial customers with the Sprinter, Vito and Citan models, the V-Class is primarily designed for private use. With the X-Class, our new mid-size pickup, we are addressing diverse customers for both private and commercial applications. In the EU30 countries, which comprise our core region, our unit sales of 278,300 vehicles were slightly above the prior-year level (2017: 273,300), while our market share in the region in the combined segment for mid-size and large vans amounted to 15.3 % (2017: 16.7 %). We set a new record in Germany with sales of 107,300 units (2017: 105,800). Sales in the NAFTA region increased substantially, leading to a new sales record of 38,700 units in the United States (2017: 34,200), where our market share for large vans also increased to 8.3 % (2017: 7.5 %). Business development was very favorable also in Latin America, where sales rose by 14 % to 18,700 units despite the difficult situation in Argentina. Unit sales in China also increased significantly, by 22 % to the new record of 29,100 vans. This development was largely due to the success of the Vito and the V-Class. At 206,300 units, global sales of Sprinter models were slightly higher than in the prior year (2017: 200,500). Vito sales were slightly down from the previous year at 108,300 units (2017: 111,800). The V-Class full-size MPV performed successfully on the market; its total sales of 63,900 units exceeded the previous year’s figure by 8 %. Sales of the Mercedes-Benz Citan reached 26,300 units (2017: 26,100), while X-Class sales totaled 16,700 units in the year under review (2017: 3,300). (see  Mercedes-Benz Vans)

Daimler Buses sold 30,900 buses and bus chassis worldwide in financial year 2018 (2017: 28,700). The significant increase was due in particular to the gradual recovery of the economy in Brazil, high demand in our important EU30 market, and growth in India. At the same time, the market-related decrease in demand in the normally profitable markets of Argentina and Turkey had a negative impact on our overall sales. The division maintained its market leadership in its most important traditional markets (EU30, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico). Due to continued high demand for our fully equipped buses, sales in the EU30 region amounted to 9,300 units, which was significantly above the high figure recorded in the previous year (8,700). Daimler Buses expanded its leading position in the EU30 region with a market share of 29.0 % (2017: 28.4 %). At 2,900 units, sales in Germany were 5 % lower than in the prior year. At 300 units, sales in Turkey decreased significantly (2017: 400) due to the ongoing difficult situation in the country. The situation in Latin America (excluding Mexico) improved due to the gradual market recovery in Brazil, although growth in the region was negatively affected by the sharp market contraction in Argentina. Sales of Mercedes-Benz chassis in Brazil rose by 22 % to 8,800 units. We were able to maintain our leading market position in Brazil with a market share of 51.6 % (2017: 52.5 %). In India, we continued along our growth path and increased our sales volume to 1,600 units (2017: 900). In Mexico, sales of 3,200 units (2017: 3,400) were significantly lower than in the previous year. (see Daimler Buses)

Business at Daimler Financial Services continued to develop positively in the year under review. As we had forecast in Annual Report 2017, worldwide contract volume continued to grow, reaching the new record level of €154.1 billion in 2018 (+10 %). At €71.9 billion, new business remained slightly above the level of the previous year, which is what we had anticipated at the beginning of 2018. Moderate growth was achieved in Europe (+2 %) and in the Americas region (+3 %). However, new business in the Africa and Asia-Pacific region (excluding China) decreased by 3 %, while a slight increase of 2 % was achieved in China. In the insurance business, we brokered approximately 2.3 million policies in the year under review, which corresponds to an increase of 8 % compared with the previous year. The total number of registered users of our mobility services rose to approximately 31.0 million in the year under review. car2go increased its number of registered users to around 3.6 million and thus strengthened its position as a leading company for flexible car sharing. The ride-hailing group, which manages mytaxi, further expanded its position as one of Europe’s leading provider of taxi apps in 2018, among other things, by acquiring a majority stake in Chauffeur Privé. The number of registered users of the ride-hailing group’s services rose to 21.3 million, an increase of 92 % from 2017. We have also further developed the moovel app, with which customers can find the best way of traveling using various modes of transport, and can also directly book and pay for their journeys. The number of registered moovel users in Germany and the United States had risen to 6.2 million by the end of 2018 (2017: 3.7 million). At the end of 2018, Daimler Financial Services had 395,000 contracts on the books with its Athlon and Daimler Fleet Management brands (+3 %). Total contract volume amounted to €6.5 billion in 2018. (see Daimler Financial Services)

Order situation

The Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Daimler Buses divisions produce vehicles predominantly to order, in accordance with customers’ specifications. While doing so, we flexibly adjust the production capacities for the individual models to changing levels of demand. Due in particular to continued strong demand in China and the European markets, the number of orders placed with Mercedes-Benz Cars during the year under review was once again at the high level of orders received in the previous year. This was driven on the product side primarily by the new E-Class, as well as the continued strong success of our SUVs. Production volume in 2018 and our order backlog at the end of the year were of the prior-year magnitude. At Daimler Trucks, both orders received and the order backlog at year-end were significantly higher than a year earlier. This was primarily due to strong demand in North America, growth in demand in the EU30 region, and the market revival in Latin America. We increased production volumes in response to the higher demand.

Daimler AR2018 B.10 Consolidated revenue by region


In the year 2018, Daimler increased its total revenue by 2 % to €167.4 billion; adjusted for currency-translation effects, revenue grew by 4 %. Our expectations from the beginning of the year were thus fulfilled. The divisions Daimler Trucks (+7 %) and Daimler Financial Services (+7 %) increased their business volumes by significant margins. In the case of Daimler Trucks, we had only expected a slight increase in business volume. The Mercedes-Benz Vans division recorded a slight increase of 4 %, whereas we had originally anticipated a significant increase for this division. Revenue at Mercedes-Benz Cars almost reached the expected magnitude of the prior year (-1 %). Revenue at Daimler Buses was at the level of the previous year, despite higher unit sales and our expectation of significant growth. This was partially due to the European touring coach segment.

In regional terms, Daimler achieved revenue growth as follows: Europe (+0 % to €68.5 billion), NAFTA region (+3 % to €48.0 billion) and Asia (+4 % to €40.6 billion).

B.11 Revenue by division and region

  2018 2017 1 18/17
In millions of euros     % change
Daimler Group 167,362 164,154 +2
Mercedes-Benz Cars 93,103 94,351 -1
Daimler Trucks 38,273 35,755 +7
Mercedes-Benz Vans 13,626 13,161 +4
Daimler Buses 4,529 4,524 +0
Daimler Financial Services 26,269 24,530 2 +7
Europe 68,496 68,309 +0
thereof Germany 24,802 24,311 +2
NAFTA 47,952 46,528 +3
thereof United States 41,152 40,076 +3
Asia 40,627 39,090 +4
thereof China 19,790 18,774 +5
Other markets 10,287 10,227 +1

1 The amounts have been adjusted due to first-time adoption of IFRS 15 and IFRS 9.

2 The Group's internal revenue and cost of sales have been adjusted by the same amount at the Daimler Financial Services segment. These adjustments have been fully eliminated in the reconciliation.

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