Market leader Daimler optimistic about future growth in truck sales
October 16, 2011
GRAPEVINE, TEX - It may be that being a market share leader in North American Class 6-8 truck sales makes for a more optimistic outlook, but Andreas Renschler, head of Daimler Trucks is not buying into all the economic doom and gloom.
GRAPEVINE, TEX – It may be that being a market share leader in North American Class 6-8 truck sales makes for a more optimistic outlook, but Andreas Renschler, head of Daimler Trucks is not buying into all the economic doom and gloom.
In his address to the media prior to the start of the American Trucking Associations convention Renschler acknowledged that economic indicators today are making it feel a bit like the fall of 2008 but was optimistic we would not see a return to global crisis.
“The clouds are a little bit darker but I’m still optimistic we will not see a global crisis… while it’s true that the risk of a double-dip recession has become more pronounced over the course of this year, it’s still a less likely scenario,” Renschler said.
He added that the more real threat is a crisis of confidence.
“As President Franklin Roosevelt famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,'” he said.
Renschler said Daimler is not seeing any significant negative effects on its business, adding he is confident 2011 will prove to be a good year.
As of August, three of Daimler’s four core markets were showing significant growth compared with the previous year: – Europe by 41% in the medium- and heavy-duty segments, – the NAFTA region by 38%, – and Brazil by 16%.
Year-to-date, global sales of Daimler Trucks have climbed by 18% through August.
Daimler Trucks North America in August achieved its best sales results since March 2007. Sales climbed by 52% and Canada did even better with 53%. Incoming orders are running a full 114% higher than the same time last year [YTD 08/2011].
“Our production capacity is full until the first Quarter of 2012,” Renschler said.
He cautioned that looking at these extreme growth rates, one needs to keep in mind that they are based on low levels from the previous year so “it’s absolutely okay if we’ll see lower numbers in the time to come.” But both Renschler and Martin Daum, president and CEO, Daimler Trucks North America, expected more growth for 2012 in Class 8 truck sales. Daum said that growth could be in the 30-40% range should the economy prove stronger than currently forecast or 15-20% under a more tepid economy.
Renschler also liked what he saw when he looked further into the future. He sees global automotive markets growing by over 40 million units in sales until 2020. And there is great demand for truck replacements in the North American market.
“The average age of truck fleets here has now reached the highest level in about 30 years,” he said. “…In spite of any short-term fluctuations, in the medium- and long-term, our business is a growth business. As a global truck manufacturer, we’ll profit from this growth – no matter where it occurs.”.
The company is preparing to meet this increased demand by expanding its capacity in Santiago, Mexico with a $45 million (US) investment.
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