Business development

Unit sales

Daimler sold a total of 3.34 million vehicles in 2019 (2018: 3.35 million). As a result, the Group failed to achieve its goal of slightly increasing its unit sales. Unit sales were slightly lower than expected at Mercedes-Benz Cars (+0 %), Daimler Trucks (-6 %), Mercedes-Benz Vans (+4 %) and Daimler Buses (+6 %).

The Mercedes-Benz Cars division sold a total of 2,385,400 vehicles in 2019 despite difficult overall conditions, thus once again slightly exceeding the previous year’s record (2018: 2,382,800). With unit sales of 2,278,300 (2018: 2,252,800) vehicles, the Mercedes-Benz brand was once again the strongest-selling premium brand in the automobile industry. We are the number one in the premium segment in Germany and several other key European markets, as well as in South Korea, Australia, India, Canada and Japan. In addition, we once again improved our position in China with a new sales record.

The A-Class and B-Class models were particularly successful in the year under review. Unit sales of these models, including the CLA and the CLA Shooting Brake, increased by 29 % to a total of 527,000 vehicles. Sales of C-Class models decreased by 8 % to 439,600 sedans, wagons, coupes and convertibles. The E-Class continued to perform very well on the market. At 418,100 vehicles, total unit sales of the E-Class did not, however, achieve the high level of the previous year. With sales of 71,300 units, the S-Class sedan continues to be the world’s best-selling luxury sedan. In total, we sold 75,400 vehicles in this market segment in 2019 (2018: 83,800). Our unit sales in the SUV segment were impacted by the model changes for the GLE and the GLS. Demand for the new models was much higher than the actual number of vehicles available. Unit sales, however, were at the very high level of 789,800 (2018: 829,200) vehicles. Sales of our sports cars rose by 48 % to 28,400 units; this increase was largely due to the market success of our Mercedes-AMG GT models. (See graphic B.07)

Daimler ar2019 B.07 paragraph_I33_I17

Mercedes-Benz Cars sold a total of 992,200 vehicles in Europe in 2019 (2018: 982,700). Sales growth in Germany (+4 %) was accompanied by decreases in Italy (-1 %) and Spain (-5 %). Unit sales in the volume markets of the United Kingdom and France remained at the levels of the previous year. The Mercedes-Benz Cars division continued to be very successful in China during the year under review, with unit sales there increasing by 2 % to 694,200 vehicles. We also set new records for unit sales in other Asian markets, for example in South Korea (+18 %). At 368,900 vehicles, unit sales in the NAFTA region were lower than the high level of the previous year. Decreases were recorded in the United States (-4 %) as well as in Canada (-12 %).

The sales development for the smart brand during the year under review was affected by the complete changeover of the smart to all-electric drive by the year 2020. The number of cars with combustion engines offered by the brand was therefore gradually reduced throughout the year. All in all, the smart brand sold a total of 107,100 fortwo and forfour models in about 40 markets worldwide in 2019 (2018: 130,000). ( See »Mercedes-Benz Cars«)

Unit sales by Daimler Trucks in 2019 were slightly lower than in the previous year. In total, we delivered 488,500 heavy-, medium- and light-duty trucks as well as buses of the Thomas Built Buses and FUSO brands in the year under review (2018: 517,300). Daimler Trucks continues to be the world’s biggest manufacturer of trucks above 6 tons. (See graphic B.08) In the EU30 region, the truck market weakened significantly in the second half of the year, following substantial earlier-than-planned purchases in the first half. Our unit sales decreased slightly to 79,800 trucks (2018: 85,400). Our Mercedes-Benz brand remained the market leader in the heavy-duty and medium-duty segments, although our market share declined to 20.0 % (2018: 20.6 %). (See table B.09)

Daimler ar2019 B.08 Unit sale structure of Daimler Trucks

B.09 Market share1

  2019 2018 19/18
in %   Change in % points
Mercedes-Benz Cars      
European Union 6.4 6.2 +0.2
thereof Germany 10.8 10.5 +0.3
United States 1.9 1.8 +0.1
China 3.3 2.9 +0.4
Japan 1.6 1.6 0.0
Daimler Trucks      
Heavy- and medium-duty trucks EU30 20.0 20.6 -0.6
thereof Germany 35.2 36.5 -1.3
Heavy-duty trucks NAFTA region (Class 8) 38.8 38.8 0.0
Medium-duty trucks NAFTA region (Classes 6 and 7) 32.9 37.8 -4.9
Heavy- and medium-duty trucks Brazil 29.2 27.9 +1.3
Trucks Japan 18.8 19.3 -0.5
Heavy- and medium-duty trucks India 5.8 6.0 -0.2
Mercedes-Benz Vans      
Mid-size and large vans EU30 16.7 15.2 +1.5
thereof Germany 27.0 25.2 +1.8
Small vans EU30 2.4 3.1 -0.7
Large vans United States 8.8 8.4 +0.4
Daimler Buses      
Buses over 8 tons EU30 27.5 29.0 -1.5
thereof Germany 50.8 49.3 +1.5
Buses over 8 tons Brazil 53.8 51.6 +2.2

1 Based on estimates in certain markets.

In Latin America, however, we were able to significantly increase our sales once again, to 42,600 units (2018: 38,200). The growth was mainly due to the development of the region’s main market, Brazil, where we sold 29,700 trucks. This represents a 39 % increase on the previous year. Our Mercedes-Benz brand trucks increased their market share. In the heavy- and medium-duty segment, we expanded our market share to 29.2 % (2018: 27.9 %) and remained the market leader. In the NAFTA region, our sales once again slightly surpassed the previous year’s high level, rising to 201,100 units (2018: 189,700). Our market share of Class 6-8 trucks amounted to 37.0 % (2018: 38.4 %), which enabled us to remain the market leader.

In Asia, the truck markets of Indonesia and India contracted significantly during the year under review. At 135,200 units (2018: 164,700), our sales in the region decreased considerably. This development was especially pronounced in Indonesia, where our sales declined by 39 % to 39,100 units. We sold 14,500 units (2018: 22,500) in India. Unit sales were thus also substantially below the high level of the previous year. Our BharatBenz brand achieved a market share of 5.8 % (2018: 6.0 %). We sold 42,200 units in the Japanese truck market, thus not quite equaling the previous year’s sales (2018: 44,000).

Sales of Auman trucks, which we produce in China in cooperation with our joint venture Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co., Ltd. (BFDA), were significantly lower than in the prior year at 86,200 units (2018: 103,400). In mid-2019, we launched our new Auman EST-A heavy-duty truck in China. The vehicle is equipped with the locally produced Mercedes-Benz OM457 engine. (See »Daimler Trucks«)

Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved record unit sales once again in 2019. At 438,400 vehicles, the previous year’s figure was surpassed by 4 %. Whereas we mainly address commercial customers with the Sprinter, Vito and Citan models, the V-Class is primarily designed for private use. With the X-Class, we address diverse customers for both private and commercial applications. In the EU30 countries, which are our core region, our unit sales of 298,100 vehicles in 2019 were slightly above the prior-year level (2018: 278,300), while our market share in the combined segment for mid-size and large vans in the region amounted to 16.7 % (2018: 15.2 %). We sold 121,300 vans (2018: 107,300) in Germany. Unit sales in the NAFTA region continued to grow significantly, with a new record of 45,700 vans sold in the United States (2018: 38,700). Our market share for large vans increased to 8.8 % (2018: 8.4 %). Our sales of 18,600 vans in Latin America were at the prior-year level (2018: 18,700), as were sales of 29,500 units in China (2018: 29,100). However, unit sales in Russia and in a difficult market environment in Turkey were significantly lower than in 2018. At 231,500 units, global sales of Sprinter models were significantly higher than in the previous year (2018: 206,300). Sales of the Vito amounted to 109,300 units and were thus at the prior-year level (2018: 108,300). Sales of 63,100 V-Class multipurpose vehicles were also at the level of the previous year (2018: 63,900). Meanwhile, sales of the Mercedes-Benz Citan amounted to 20,700 units (2018: 26,300) and a total of 13,800 X-Class vehicles were sold in the year under review (2018: 16,700). (See »Mercedes-Benz Vans«)

Daimler Buses sold 32,600 buses and bus chassis worldwide in financial year 2019 (2018: 30,900). The slight increase was due in particular to the noticeable recovery of the market in Brazil, continued strong demand in our important EU30 market and substantial sales growth in Argentina. The division maintained its market leadership in its most important traditional core markets (EU30, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico). Due to continued high demand for our complete buses, sales in the EU30 region amounted to 9,300 units, which equaled the high figure recorded in the previous year (2018: 9,300). Daimler Buses defended its leading position in this region with a market share of 27.5 % (2018: 29.0 %). At 3,000 units, sales in Germany were 5 % higher than in the previous year. At 200 units, sales in Turkey decreased significantly due to the ongoing difficult situation in the country (2018: 300). The market situation in Latin America (excluding Mexico) improved further on account of the noticeable market recovery in Brazil. Sales of Mercedes-Benz bus chassis in Brazil rose by 30 % to 11,400 units. We were able to strengthen our leading market position in Brazil with a market share of 53.8 % (2018: 51.6 %). We sold 1,600 units in India, thus equaling the previous year’s result (2018: 1,600). At 2,600 units, sales in Mexico were significantly lower than in the previous year (2018: 3,200). (See »Daimler Buses«)

Business at Daimler Mobility continued to develop positively in the year under review. As we had forecast in Annual Report 2018, worldwide contract volume continued to grow, reaching the new record level of €162.8 billion in 2019 (+6 %). At €74.4 billion, new business was also slightly higher than in 2018, which is what we had anticipated at the beginning of the year. Whereas new business grew in Europe (+3 %), the Americas (+9 %) and Africa & Asia-Pacific (+2 %, excluding China), it decreased slightly in China (-4 %). In the insurance business, we brokered approximately 2.4 million policies in the year under review, which corresponds with an increase of 5 % compared with the previous year. In total, 588 million transactions were conducted through the mobility services of the YOUR NOW joint-venture group in 2019. Daimler Mobility had 425,000 contracts on its books with its Athlon and Daimler Fleet Management brands (+8 %). Total contract volume amounted to €7.0 billion at the end of 2019. (See »Daimler Mobility«)

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 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 remained at a high level despite a slight decrease. This was driven on the product side primarily by the A-Class and B-Class models and the E-Class, as well as by the continued strong success of our SUVs. With an unchanged high level of production, the order backlog at the end of the year was below the prior-year level. At Daimler Trucks, both orders received and the order backlog at year-end were significantly lower than a year earlier. This was mainly due to the significant weakening of demand in the second half of the year in the NAFTA region and also the EU30 region.

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