Daimler Buses still on path of success in 2007


Sales 2006 surpassed by 8%
Benchmark in profitability
Mercedes-Benz Citaro BlueTec Hybrid in test operations in 2008
Extension of bus activities in India, Russia, and China

Stuttgart – Worldwide sales by Daimler Buses in 2007 totaled 39,000 units from the Mercedes-Benz, Setra, and Orion brands, which corresponds to an eight-percent increase from the high sales figure recorded in the prior year. Bus chassis increased its sales by 9.5% to 26,600 (2006: 24,300) units, while complete buses business achieved a sales increase of 4% to 12,400 (2006: 11,900) units.
In Western Europe, where the overall market for buses remained stable, Daimler Buses increased sales by around six percent to 6,950 units (2006: 6,540), boosting its market share from 25 percent to 26 percent. The unit also further consolidated its leading position on the in total weaker German bus market, by increasing its market share from 52 percent in 2006 to 55 percent last year, with sales in Germany rising nearly eight percent to 2,800 units (2006: 2,600).
“We set a new sales record once again in 2007,” says Harald Landmann, head of Daimler Buses. “And we successfully defended our position as the global leader for buses over eight tons GVW. Especially our market share increase in Western Europe is remarkable as we boosted our market share up to 26% in a stagnating market.” Continuing: “This is mainly a result of our sales and distribution offensive. Due to this offensive, we reached significant successes in sales. Furthermore, we improved our profitability with our efficiency program, which was started in 2005; as a result, Daimler Buses is benchmark in its competitive landscape.”
Last year, Daimler Buses unveiled the new Setra TopClass 400 for the first time. The Mercedes-Benz brand also presented its recently revamped bus line-up, which includes the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Travel 65 minibus. Recently, Daimler Buses delivered the 20,000th vehicle of the successful Mercedes-Benz Citaro.
Daimler Buses is world-wide market leader with hybrid buses. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro BlueTec with hybrid drive is currently in development, and will be brought on the street in 2009. In fall 2007, as part of Daimler’s “Shaping Future Transportation” initiative, Daimler Buses presented the first prototype of this Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus equipped with a diesel-electric hybrid drive for a clean environment. The first test operations will be started in 2008 in order to bring the environment friendly city bus to the market on time. “With more than 1,500 Orion hybrid buses on the street and an additional 1,100 ordered units, we’ve been the leader in urban bus hybrid technology in North America for years,” says Landmann. “Now, the Mercedes-Benz Citaro BlueTec Hybrid will bring a similar trend-setting solution to the streets of Europe. Because of its technologically sophisticated series hybrid system, the bus will, in some cases, be able to run solely on battery power and therefore produce no emissions.”
Daimler Buses’ aim is to strengthen its leading position in the long run by entering emerging markets like Russia, India and China. “On those markets it is essential to offer the right products at the right point of time”, Landmann says. “Besides corresponding offensive market activities we are going ahead with the implementation of our distribution and after-sales structures, so that our customers will be professionally supported with maintenance and other services after they bought a bus.”
Daimler Buses has been investing in entering the Indian market. Toward this end, the unit announced a partnership with the Indian company Sutlej Motors Ltd in September 2007. Already this year, the two companies will begin manufacturing luxury coaches for the Indian market.
“For securing our leading position in our core markets sustainabely, and in order to use our growth opportunities in new markets consistently, we will especially extend our business in emerging markets,” says Landmann. “We will invest in our market entry in Russia, while evaluating about a local production together with Daimler Trucks. In China, we are cooperating with license partners in order to gain experiences in this market.”

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