With a market share of 15 percent in the first half of 2009, Daimler Buses is once again underscoring its leading position in the international bus business. In the first six months of the year, Daimler Buses sold 15,112 Mercedes-Benz, Setra, and Orion brand buses and chassis worldwide (January-June 2008: 20,243). During this period the unit posted revenues of slightly more than €2 billion (January-June 2008: €2.24 billion), while its EBIT amounted to €114 million (€245 million). “Despite a challenging economy, we maintained our position as the world market leader and even gained market shares in some regions.

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This shows the Daimler Buses business system is very stable. The profitability comes to an operating margin of 6 %. We can therefore look forward to the coming months with confidence,” said Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses at a press conference during the run-up to the Busworld event in Kortrijk, Belgium.

In the first half of 2009 sales on the international bus market declined worldwide.The impact of this development also was felt by Daimler Buses, even if its declines were much smaller than those on the overall market. On the key German domestic market as well as in Spain, Italy and France, Daimler Buses successfully bucked the trend and gained market shares. In Brazil the market share has been defended, while in Mexico the market share was enhanced by ten basis points. With its market share of 60 percent Daimler Buses continues to be the market leader by a wide margin. On the overall declining North American market, Daimler Buses generated considerable growth in sales (+17 percent).

Major contracts were one reason why Daimler Buses succeeded in securing the market shares. The two most recent major contracts are with customers in the Netherlands: 350 Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban and intercity buses are to be delivered to the public transportation company Qbuzz, while 75 Citaros with natural-gas drive systems have been ordered for the Arnhem-Nijmegen region. And in Berlin the public transportation company is expanding its bus fleet with 144 Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban buses. With the official ceremony to mark the delivery of the 25,000th Citaro to a customer, the vehicle is the best-selling urban bus ever built. The municipal transportation company of Tashkent (Uzbekistan) ordered 200 Mercedes-Benz Conectos for city service. Daimler Buses won other major contracts in South Africa, where more than 125 Mercedes-Benz feeder buses will be delivered for the Gautrain rapid transit project. Daimler Buses North America recently received orders for more than 300 regular-service buses, travel coaches, and shuttle buses. And from Chile Daimler Buses received an order for 700 chassis, being the largest order so far in 2009.
For 2009 as a whole, Daimler Buses forecasts that worldwide demand for buses of over eight tons GVW will fall from more than 280,000 to about 248,000 units, whereby crucial core markets are expected to stabilize, however. With this data in mind, Hartmut Schick said: “We are sure to still be the undisputed market leader at the end of the year. And we will further increase our market share wins as we did in the first half 2009. Altogether we will remain profitable and fully utilize our plants all over Europe until the end of the year.”

Sustained success will be possible thanks to Daimler Buses’ strategic approach, which encompasses the four core objectives of Operational Excellence/Efficiency, Growth in Existing Markets, Growth in New Markets, and Technological Leadership. “We are continuously working on improving our core processes, cost structures, and sales strategy,” said Schick. “This means, for example, that we are making our European production network even more flexible and doing all we can to fulfill our customers’ wishes with even greater precision and customization.” In addition, Daimler Buses will forge ahead with the development of new products. This includes development of the new Euro 6-compliant generation of engines and the focus on alternative drive technologies such as diesel-electric and fuel cell hybrids. And there will be even greater cooperation with local partners, for instance in India, Russia and China.

Daimler Buses at Busworld 2009
Daimler Buses will present a total of 20 Mercedes-Benz and Setra bus and coach models at Busworld in Kortrijk, Belgium, the largest bus show of 2009. The vehicles premiering at the Mercedes-Benz stand include the new Tourismo RH. The high-floor variant (RH) fills the gap in the product line-up between the well-established Mercedes-Benz Integro intercity bus and the Tourismo RHD high-decker travel coach. Mercedes-Benz minibuses with a new powertrain are to be presented as well. Thanks to the new OM 651 (120 kW/163 hp) and OM 642 (140 kW/190 hp) engines, they satisfy the Euro 5 emissions standard and are designated EEVs (Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicles), the currently voluntary emission limit that is the most stringent in Europe. Highlights of the show at the Setra stand will be the new Setra ComfortClass 400, and the new S 415 H high-floor bus and S 416 H of the MultiClass 400.

The service brand Omniplus will present to the trade visitors new products for bus transport companies, including “BusFleet” – the first fleet management system specially developed for buses – and a new, graduated ServiceCard concept.

What’s more, Omniplus is marking the start of the school year by expanding the initiative for greater school bus safety that was launched in July 2009. As part of the initiative, special school bus checks are conducted free of charge. The checklist comprises 17 items to be scrutinized in addition to the regular inspections. Omniplus also offers safety training courses for school bus drivers and school kids, who will benefit from a discount of 30 percent until the end of october 2009. The regular price of the training is €1,900. The first 15 schools and bus companies that register together will receive complimentary training. “School bus safety is a top priority for us. That’s why we are supporting bus companies and schools in their efforts to ensure safe transport, and also encouraging them to make extensive use of what is offered,” said Schick.

Daimler Buses is the world’s leading manufacturer of buses and coaches and has a workforce of about 17,400 employees.

Source: Daimler AG