In the first six months of the year, Daimler Buses sold 18,308 Mercedes Benz, Setra, and Orion brand buses and chassis worldwide (January-June 2010: 19,226). During this period, the unit posted revenues of slightly more than €2 billion (January-June 2010: €2.22 billion).
“Thanks to our global presence, Daimler Buses can easily deal with disparate economic developments in different regions,” said Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, at the press conference during the run up to Busworld 2011. “At the moment, we are, for example, benefiting from the dynamic growth being experienced by markets such as Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey. This growth enables us to partially offset the continued low demand in Europe and North America. The most important thing, however, is that Daimler Buses continues to lead the way in the bus sector. And we will therefore continue to rigorously follow this path.”
Daimler Buses puts in an impressive performance in Latin America
In the first half of 2011, the bus markets developed in very different ways. Demand increased appreciably in Latin America, India, and Turkey, leading to substantial market growth. In the key growth market of Brazil, Daimler’s bus division maintained sales at last year’s high level, selling a total of around 8,900 units.
That makes Daimler Buses the undisputed market leader in the country, with a market share of over 43 percent. Sales in Mexico even increased by about 27 percent to more than 1,430 units. Daimler Buses posted its highest growth in South America in Argentina, where vehicle sales rose by 24 percent to around 2,000 units. In Turkey, Daimler Buses delivered almost twice as many travel coaches to customers as in the first half of last year, increasing sales to just under 700 units.
The picture is different on the European and North American bus markets. In both of these regions, the challenging economic developments of 2009 and 2010 continue to affect bus sales. With regard to Europe, Schick stated that “the economic crisis of 2009 continues to impact the European bus business, especially in the city bus segment. We’ll reach the low point this year — two years later than in other sectors. The reason for this is simple: Budgetary constraints in the public sector resulted in significantly fewer purchases.”
Despite the difficult market conditions in Europe, Daimler Buses saw sales in the intercity bus and travel coach segments increase. Compared to the same period last year, sales of Mercedes-Benz and Setra brand vehicles rose slightly by three percent to 2,145 units, due primarily to high sales figures in Turkey. Several major orders for city buses, including the delivery of 300 Mercedes-Benz Citaros to Singapore, have helped consolidate the results for the first half of the year.
Daimler Buses continues to pursue its growth strategy
In full-year 2011, Daimler Buses expects that global demand will primarily come from Latin America, India, and Turkey. At the same time, the bus manufacturer does not yet expect the European market to experience a major rebound.
In view of this situation, Schick stated that “Daimler Buses has for many years focused on pursuing a global strategy with the clear goal of achieving growth in traditional as well as in new markets. We will reach this goal due to our outstanding products, continuous efficiency increases, and the fact that we have the best employees in the industry. I’m therefore convinced that we will remain the number one company in the bus business and attain a positive overall result in 2011, despite it being a challenging year for buses.”
To enable Daimler Buses to continue to set the pace in traditional markets and forge ahead with its strategic pillar for “Growth in established markets,” the unit has thoroughly enhanced its product range’s flagship vehicle. This vehicle, the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus, was unveiled in May. With sales of approximately 32,000 units, the first generation of the Citaro was Europe’s most successful city bus of all time. Daimler Buses is building on this success story with the new vehicle, which sets new standards for quality, safety, efficiency, comfort, and design. In addition, the new Citaro is very convincing when it comes to fuel consumption and service.
In Latin America, Daimler Buses is focusing its further growth on the chassis business and consistent expansion of its product range. These chassis from Mercedes-Benz comply with local Euro IV and Euro V emission limits.
With regard to its strategic pillar for “Growth in new markets,” Daimler Buses is giving India priority because it is an important future market. In the area of travel coaches, Daimler Buses has been cooperating with the Indian body builder firm Sutlej since 2007. Daimler Buses will achieve further growth in India with a new generation of city buses, which it will introduce to the market in early 2012.
According to Schick, the so-called Next 11 countries, such as Indonesia, also offer potential for profitable growth. “The Indonesian market has already been recording strong growth over the last few years through the modernization of urban bus fleets and infrastructure,” he said. “In fact, market volume in that country will nearly double over the next eight years. Our market share in the country is about 40 percent and we’re very confident that we’ll be able to benefit from growth there in the coming years as well.”
In the area of “Technological leadership,” Daimler Buses continues to be the driving force in the bus sector. North America, for example, is home to the world’s biggest fleet of hybrid buses (more than 3,000 units), all of which come from Daimler Buses. In Europe, more than 50 Mercedes-Benz Citaro BlueTec Hybrid urban buses will be in operation by the end of the year in cities such as Stuttgart, Hamburg, Krefeld, Dresden, Muelheim, Rotterdam, and Milan. In addition, 11 fuel cell buses will enter operation before the end of the year.
Daimler Buses at Busworld 2011: The first Euro VI-compliant travel coach is supplied by Mercedes-Benz!
Daimler Buses will present a total of 13 Mercedes-Benz and Setra bus and coach models at Busworld in Kortrijk, Belgium, the largest bus show of 2011. The Mercedes-Benz stand will celebrate the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Travego “Edition 1”, which is the first travel coach to meet the Euro VI emissions standard. Featuring a new and powerful BlueEfficiency engine, a new transmission, and a new driver area, the coach will also boast the Attention Assist safety system, which is found in no other travel coach in the world.
Just as spectacular as the new Travego is the new-generation Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban bus, which will be having its motor show debut at Busworld in Kortrijk. Mercedes-Benz Buses will also celebrate the 125th anniversary of the invention of the automobile by Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler by introducing the attractive “125! years of innovation” special edition model of the high-deck Tourismo travel coach. The Sprinter City 77 — the current flagship vehicle of Mercedes-Benz’ minibus lineup — will also be represented at the stand. The vehicle is 8.7 meters long and can transport up to 40 passengers.
The Setra brand will be represented at the bus show by eight vehicles from all three of its production series, thus demonstrating its leading position in the travel coach and regular service intercity bus segments. Highlights of the show at the Setra stand will include the successful ComfortClass 400, and the MultiClass 400 S 415 H high-floor bus and S 416 H. The focus inside is on an innovative, state-of-the-art infotainment system for satellite TV and radio. Screens are built into the backs of the passenger seats, as well as behind the driver, at the entrance, and into the back wall of the onboard galley. The image from the driver camera can be connected to these screens as well. In addition, Setra will present the S 415 GT-HD “Final Edition” to the trade visitors at Busworld. The vehicle has high-quality interior appointments as well as a comprehensive equipment package and exclusive side trim made of brushed stainless steel.
To mark its 60th anniversary, the Setra brand presented the limited “Special Edition” vehicle in a number of different equipment variants at the beginning of the year. A variant that will be shown in Kortrijk will be the TopClass S 416 HDH with displaced seating.
Omniplus provides a unique range of bus-related services, including professional maintenance and repair work, efficient driver and service training programs, a broad selection of pre-owned vehicles, and customized financial services. Omniplus operates more than 600 authorized service centers in Europe, making it the largest bus-specific service network on the continent.
In Kortrijk, the service brand will present several new offers for bus operators, including a new, graduated ServiceCard concept, and the BusMobility package, which provides all-round breakdown assistance in 40 European countries. Thanks to a dense network of service centers, the mobility package minimizes the customer’s financial risks and ensures downtimes are short no matter when a breakdown occurs.
Daimler Buses is the world’s leading manufacturer of buses and coaches and employs about 17,000 men and women.
Source: Daimler AG