2018 was a successful year for Daimler Trucks. In a mainly positive market environment, we succeeded in significantly increasing unit sales, revenue and earnings to new record levels. We increased our unit sales by double-digit rates in the NAFTA region, Indonesia, India and Brazil. At the IAA Commercial Vehicles trade fair, we presented part of our broad portfolio of vehicles with alternative drive systems: the all-electric eActros, the FUSO eCanter, the electric school bus from Thomas Built Buses and the Actros NGT powered by natural gas. The newly launched Actros is a pioneer for safety with Active Drive Assist, Active Brake Assist 5 and the mirror-cam system.
New records for unit sales, revenue and EBIT
Daimler Trucks posted unit sales of 517,300 trucks in 2018, a new record (2017: 470,700). The markets relevant for Daimler Trucks generally developed positively. Economic uncertainty in regions such as the Middle East, Turkey and Argentina had a negative impact on unit sales. Revenue of €38.3 billion was also significantly higher than in the previous year (2017: €35.8 billion). Furthermore, the successful implementation of our efficiency program helped us to achieve a new EBIT record of €2.8 billion (2017: €2.4 billion).
C.03 Daimler Trucks
| ||2018 ||2017 ||18/17 |
|€ amounts in millions || ||Change in % |
| || || || |
|Revenue ||38,273 ||35,755 1 ||+7 |
|EBIT ||2,753 ||2,383 1 ||+16 |
|Return on sales (in %) ||7.2 ||6.7 ||. |
|Investment in property, |
plant, and equipment
|Research and development expenditure |
|Production ||524,846 ||476,325 ||+10 |
|Unit sales ||517,335 ||470,705 ||+10 |
|Employees (December 31) ||82,953 ||79,483 ||+4 |
C.04 Unit sales Daimler Trucks
| ||2018 ||2017 ||18/17 |
|In thousands || ||Change in % |
| || || || |
|Total ||517 ||471 ||+10 |
|EU30 ||85 ||82 ||+4 |
|thereof Germany ||33 ||32 ||+4 |
|United Kingdom ||8 ||9 ||-11 |
|France ||9 ||8 ||+13 |
|NAFTA region ||190 ||165 ||+15 |
|thereof United States ||161 ||140 ||+15 |
|Latin America (excluding Mexico) ||38 ||31 ||+25 |
|thereof Brazil ||21 ||13 ||+60 |
|Asia ||165 ||149 ||+11 |
|thereof Japan ||44 ||45 ||-2 |
|Indonesia ||64 ||43 ||+50 |
|For information purposes: || || || |
|BFDA (Auman Trucks) ||103 ||112 ||-8 |
|Total (including BFDA) ||621 ||583 ||+6 |
Unit sales at new high
Daimler Trucks increased its total sales by 10 % to 517,300 units. In the EU30 region (European Union, Switzerland and Norway), our truck sales increased slightly to 85,400 units. Our Mercedes-Benz brand maintained its market leadership in the medium- and heavy-duty segment with a share of 20.6 % (2017: 21.0 %). In early September, we presented the new Actros with a number of new features. In addition to numerous other innovations, the flagship from Mercedes-Benz puts partially automated driving into series production with Active Drive Assist, as well as the mirror-cam system, which replaces the previous exterior mirrors. Sales in Germany also developed positively with growth of 4 % to 32,900 units.
Our sales in Turkey were substantially affected by considerable economic uncertainty and at 5,000 trucks were 57 % lower than the previous year’s level. In Latin America, however, we once again significantly increased our sales to 38,200 units (2017: 30,500). There was a significant contribution from growth in unit sales in Brazil, our main market in the region. With sales there of 21,400 vehicles, we achieved an increase of 60 %, although from a low level. With our Mercedes-Benz brand trucks, we increased our market share in the medium- and heavy-duty segment to 27.9 % (2017: 27.6 %) and were thus the market leader in Brazil. Sales in Argentina decreased in the year under review to 3,500 units (2017: 5,600).
The ongoing very positive development of unit sales in the NAFTA region made a substantial contribution to our growth. We once again significantly increased our unit sales to a total of 189,700 trucks (2017:165,000). In classes 6-8, we continued to be the market leader with a share of 38.4 % (2017: 39.8 %). We have already delivered more than 83,200 units of the new Freightliner Cascadia, our flagship in the North American market. The medium-duty DD8 engine has been produced in Detroit since the beginning of 2018, and with the introduction of this engine, we are systematically continuing our global platform strategy for the powertrain. The engine is also used in the new Freightliner Econic SD. This special truck for municipal applications, which in Europe is mainly used by waste disposal companies, has been available also in the North American market since April 2018.
In Asia, we increased our truck sales by 11 % to 164,700 units. In Japan, our total sales were approximately 44,000 units (2017: 44,800). Our FUSO brand achieved a share of the overall Japanese truck market of 19.3 % (2017: 19.6 %). In Indonesia, we increased our unit sales to 64,200 trucks, which is 50 % more than in 2017. Our sales of 9,700 trucks in the Middle East were significantly lower than the high level of the previous year (2017: 23,600). In India, our sales benefited from a significant recovery of demand for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. With sales of 22,500 units, we sold significantly more trucks than in the year before (2017: 16,700). Our market share with the BharatBenz brand was 7.0 % (2017: 9.1 %). In September 2018, we reached a major milestone with production of the 100,000th truck at the plant in Chennai. Since the start of production in 2013, we have exported vehicles from Chennai to more than 60 markets worldwide.
Active in the Chinese truck market
In China, the world’s biggest truck market, Daimler AG holds a 50 % equity interest in Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co., Ltd. (BFDA). The joint venture with Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd. has been producing medium- and heavy-duty trucks of the Auman brand since the year 2012. Sales of 103,400 Auman trucks were below the high prior-year level (2017: 112,400), which, apart from the favorable economic development, was influenced above all by regulatory measures for vehicle replacement. Since the start of the cooperation, 596,700 Auman trucks have been sold.
Expansion of our wide-ranging electric portfolio
At the Capital Market & Technology Days in Portland, we presented two new electric trucks for the North American market: the Freightliner eCascadia as a heavy-duty all-electric truck for long-distance applications and the Freightliner eM2 106 as an all-electric version for the medium-duty segment. The eCascadia is based on our Cascadia for heavy-duty haulage, which is already successful in North America.
Load One Transport Success Story | Freightliner Trucks
The Freightliner eM2 106 is used for the local distribution of foodstuffs as well as for deliveries. In December 2018, the first Freightliner eM2 was handed over to the customer Penske Truck Leasing Corp. This means that Daimler Trucks is now testing electric trucks with the first customers in all three segments: light-, medium- and heavy duty. Together with the Saf-T-Liner C2 electric school bus from Thomas Built Buses, we have therefore presented an extensive range of electric commercial vehicles in North America.
Mercedes-Benz already presented an all-electric heavy-duty distribution truck in 2016. In 2018, the first vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz eActros innovation fleet were handed over to customers. The first customers – Hermes, EDEKA, Transportbeton and Meyer-Logistik – operate in various segments and each of them is using an 18- or 25-ton truck based on the series version in daily operations for test purposes. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMW) are sponsoring the development and testing of the heavy-duty trucks in short-radius distribution operations as part of the project Concept ELV2 (Concept Electric Truck in Heavy Distribution Transportation). As an alternative to electric trucks, Mercedes-Benz Trucks also offers trucks powered by natural gas. In addition to the Econic waste-disposal and delivery truck, the new Actros NGT with natural-gas drive and automatic transmission has also been available to order since 2018. Our first all-electric light-duty truck, the FUSO eCanter, was launched in Tokyo, New York and Berlin in 2017. Since the year 2018, more of the FUSO eCanter trucks have been handed over to logistics and municipalities in Berlin, London, Amsterdam and Lisbon, so this model is now operating in six metropolises around the world. The locally emission-free and nearly silent truck is in series production in Tramagal, Portugal, for markets in Europe and the United States. The trucks for the Japanese market are produced at the Mitsubishi FUSO plant in Kawasaki.
FUSO | eCanter 1.0 - the first all-electric truck in series production
Our FUSO brand already presented the all-electric FUSO Vision One for the heavy-duty segment in 2017.
In June 2018, the global E-Mobility Group Daimler Trucks & Buses was founded. It defines the future strategy for our electric components across brands and divisions, as well as complete electric vehicles, and is working on a worldwide uniform architecture. At the IAA Commercial Vehicles trade fair, we announced our cooperation with the Californian company, Proterra Inc. Proterra is a leader in the United States in the business with electric buses for local transportation. In connection with our equity interest in Proterra, it has been agreed together to examine the electrification of selected heavy-duty commercial vehicles from Daimler. As the first cooperation project, we are working on possible synergies with the electrification of school buses from the Daimler brand Thomas Built Buses, and the option to transfer Proterra’s proven battery technology and drivetrain to the North American school-bus market.
New Actros with innovative safety systems
The world premiere of the new Actros took place in Berlin in early September.
IAA 2018: Weltpremiere für den revolutionären neuen Mercedes-Benz Actros
The new Mercedes-Benz flagship features many innovations. With Active Drive Assist, we are putting partially automated driving into series production. The system can support the driver with braking, accelerating and steering. While the driver continues to be responsible for monitoring the traffic situation, the system makes his or her work significantly easier and delivers an important contribution to enhancing safety on the roads.
Der neue Mercedes-Benz Actros
The improved Active Brake Assist helps to monitor the space in front of the vehicle and to react to pedestrians and cyclists even better. The fifth-generation brake assistant supports the driver with a combination of radar and camera system if there is a danger of a front-end crash or a collision with a pedestrian or cyclist, and initiates emergency braking if necessary.
Mercedes-Benz new Actros: Active Brake Assist 5
Sideguard Assist, which has been available for heavy-duty trucks from Mercedes-Benz since 2016, monitors not only the tractor unit but also the trailer or semitrailer and helps to avoid accidents. When there is a person or object in the area monitored, the driver is warned visually and also acoustically if there is a danger of a collision. The new Actros differs from its predecessor also externally. The main mirrors and wide-angle mirrors have been replaced by the mirror-cam system as standard equipment in the new Actros. Two cameras installed on the truck’s exterior and two monitors in the cab not only improve aerodynamics, they also offer a greatly improved view around the vehicle. The new Actros has a digital driver’s workplace with high levels of operating and display comfort. Two interactive monitors are standard equipment and serve as central information sources. In addition to driver-relevant basic information, assistance systems are also visualized. It goes without saying that smartphones are fully integrated. The Truck Data Center permanently connects the vehicle with the Cloud and is the basis for all connectivity solutions that help with the provision of transport services. Real-time control of the truck via Fleetboard connected services and the preventive service product Mercedes-Benz Uptime offer the truck’s operator additional added value, through predictive maintenance and low down times for example.
Close to customers with automated and connected driving
We have further expanded our activities with automated trucks and buses and established a research and development center for automated driving in Portland, Oregon. The innovation site cooperates closely with existing development centers in Stuttgart and India. In Brazil, as part of a development partnership with a local manufacturer of agricultural machinery, Mercedes-Benz do Brasil configured 18 Mercedes-Benz Axor trucks specifically for automated use in sugar-cane harvesting. In order to support the growth of expertise in new technologies as well as global tech initiatives, a new “Daimler Trucks and Buses Tech & Data Hub” has been established in Lisbon. The Tech & Data Hub aims to acquire talented employees in various technology fields and to focus on new technologies and digital services for the commercial-vehicle sector. At the plant in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, a completely new type of truck assembly line for Daimler Trucks for light- to heavy-duty trucks and the related parts logistics went into operation in 2018. And at the plant site in Iracemápolis, Brazil, we opened a new truck and bus test center covering approximately 1.3 million square meters, where vehicles will be tested on a wide variety of road profiles.
Fleetboard pushes forward with digitization of logistics
At the IAA Commercial Vehicles trade fair in Hannover, Fleetboard presented its new Fleetboard customer interface. For trucking companies, the new, intuitive, web-based interface combines all data from the booked Fleetboard services in a clear format. Fleet managers and dispatchers can summarize complex information in a tailored manner and while doing so are helped to identify improvement potential. The system uses push messages to proactively indicate when there is a need for action, such as a route adjustment. The digital interface in trucks has also been further developed. Vehicles with the new interactive multimedia cockpit can be connected with the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal and thus equipped with efficiency-enhancing apps. The Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal offers an open platform on which customers and partners can install their own apps. One app that will be available in the portal is Fleetboard Driver. It is also available for smartphone use in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Fleetboard Driver informs the truck driver in real time of relevant vehicle data such as mileage and fuel level. In addition, it provides a direct insight into driving and rest times as well as information on optimization potential in relation to the current driving style.