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DTNA looking to aggressively grow sales outside NAFTA market

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico -- Looking for better ways to deal with the cyclicality of the NAFTA market, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), has launched an international market growth strategy that calls for significant increases in sales and...

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico — Looking for better ways to deal with the cyclicality of the NAFTA market, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), has launched an international market growth strategy that calls for significant increases in sales and market share gains in overseas markets.

The new strategy, dubbed Vision 15,000, calls for sales outside of DTNA’s NAFTA territory of 15,000 units. The approach brings recently launched internationally-focused DTNA products to new markets in the Middle East and Africa, and extends existing regional programs in Australia, Latin America and South Africa. DTNA already exports approximately 10,000 vehicles annually, and is the industry leader in the export of heavy-duty trucks from North America.

“With a robust international business, we can help mitigate the inevitable cycles of the North American commercial vehicle market. This initiative to manage cyclicality is also a primary strategic goal of Daimler Trucks globally under the Global Excellence initiative,” explained Mark Lampert, senior Vice President, sales and marketing for DTNA during a press conference here in Cabo San Lucas.

DTNA’s largest current international markets include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Peru and Colombia. Freightliner- and Western Star-brand trucks are also sold in numerous countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific regions. In each of these areas, DTNA is enhancing its distribution network and brands to prepare for further growth.

In addition, the company is eyeing further market entries in Asia and Africa where Freightliner and Western Star vehicles fit local operating requirements.

Vision 15,000 is deriving significant momentum from new vehicle launches. The company is now launching the Freightliner Coronado® 114 for the Australia market. A set back front axle, 114-inch BBC heavy-duty conventional truck and tractor, the Coronado 114 features the Detroit® DD15, 14.8 liter engine. The truck opens up new segments for Freightliner in Australia, and is expected to significantly expand the brand’s customer base there.
DTNA has also introduced a new version of its flagship international truck, the Freightliner Argosy, in key international markets. The new Argosy, a heavy-duty cabover truck and tractor, is now being sold in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

To support its global strategies, DTNA is also building up its international organization. The company has invested in an internal resource increase and has closely aligned engineering, product development, training, quality and product planning to leverage the company’s global optimization strategy.

Meanwhile, the NAFTA market actually shrank in 2012 in comparison to 2011 when considering orders for Class 8 trucks. In 2011 there were 305,759 orders placed whereas orders came in at 229,427 in 2012, a 25% drop. The start of 2013 is continuing the downward trend with 22,191 orders placed.

Still Lampert remains cautiously optimistic about 2013 which he calls  “far from dead.”

“The first quarter is going to be the hardest quarter and it will be up from there to about 10% up or down from 2012,” he said.

In addition to relying more on international sales to ride out the cyclicality of the NAFTA truck market, Lampert said DTNA is looking to increase its already market-leading share of the NAFTA market. Its share of Class 8 sales was up 1.9% last year in NAFTA, 2.5% in the US and 0.3% in Mexico.

“And we hit it out of the park in January in the US with 44.6% share, an all time high,” Lampert added, although he acknowledged a market share lead of such magnitude is not likely to be retained.

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1 Comment » for DTNA looking to aggressively grow sales outside NAFTA market
  1. Charles Tola says:

    Until DTNA learns from European companies, especially Britain and Italy, of course Germany’ successes in the West African markets largely dominated by Nigeria, it will continue to have a hard time establishing a stronger presence in these markets when it comes to new trucks. Gaining the foothold in the region will come from a change of attitude, and a new leadership at the helm of the affairs at DTNA. For instance, Nigerian truck market alone is bigger than all the East/South African markets put together, yet the DTNA leadership would rather direct order from the West African region to either South Africa, or some Rep in Dubai. With Vision 15000 units outside of NAFTA, as the new goal, the DTNA shareholders should relieve the headship of this org his job for such a very unambitious goal, considering the huge potential of untapped West African markets.

    The fact that EU has short themselves in the foot through the introduction of Euro currency, which has made purchasing in EU countries very expensive, should have been an encouragement for American companies because of the cheap dollar, to pursue the market vacuum created by potentials buyers from W.Africa who have sought alternative markets for their trucks and trucking parts.

    What we see though is, while DTNA and some of US companies are cleaning their noses, China have moved in filling orders as big as 5000 trucks from just one Nigerian company, and others in multiple hundreds.

    The other problem by DTNA and similar US companies, is that they want to sell what they manufacture, instead of what the local export market is looking for in consonant with the local environment, the problem which the Chinese are not making. While one can commend Mack Trucks LLC of good business model for the Nigerian market, they are nevertheless culpable of this issue of selling N.A. emission to high sulphur content fuel environment.


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