In 2015, Daimler Buses increased its earnings by nine percent to € 214 million (PY € 197 million) despite the massive market decline in Brazil. These earnings include expenses from the restructuring of the Daimler Group’s dealer network as well as income that resulted from the sale of the investment in New MCI Holdings Inc. in the US. Return on sales increased to 5.2% (PY 4.7%). Daimler Buses is thus benchmark in the bus business. Overall, Daimler Buses sold 28,100 buses and chassis (PY 33,200) and thus maintained its undisputed market leadership in its core markets in the segment for buses with a maximum permissible gross laden weight over eight tons. The complete bus business in Western Europe developed particularly well. This enabled the business division to buffer the decline of the Brazilian bus market, which plummeted by 40% last year.
Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses: “Despite the tense situation in Brazil – one of our key markets – we have reached a good result in 2015. Through the positive development in the revenue-rich business with complete buses and the momentum from the business with intercity buses in Europe, we managed to successfully buffer the revenue decline in the Latin American business.”
“In addition to our strong product range and our technological leadership in powertrains and safety, our continuous measures for improving the efficiency of Daimler Buses are also paying off. We will continue to pursue this course on a consistent basis in 2016 as well. To this end, we are also driving forward with our concepts in the area of innovative mobility solutions and are even forming a dedicated new department for Mobility Solutions”, Hartmut Schick added.
Dynamics on the intercity bus market drives sales development in Europe
Daimler Buses managed to increase unit sales in Western Europe by three percent to 7,800 vehicles (PY 7,600). With a market share of 31 percent, the division thus continues to be the undisputed Number One in the bus business. This was due to the strong product substance and excellent sales performance, as well as primarily to the high momentum on the European intercity bus market. Alone in Germany, the passenger numbers increased by 25 percent to 20 million persons last year. For this year, experts expect another increase to 25 million intercity bus passengers. Meanwhile, about 700 intercity buses are in daily use in Germany.
Thanks to their high running performance, the excellent safety level and their low consumption, the buses of Mercedes-Benz and Setra are in high demand among intercity bus operators. With a market share of around 55 percent, Daimler Buses is thus the undisputed market leader in the business with intercity buses in Germany. When it comes to the double-decker buses, as much as 80 percent of intercity buses on German roads carry the Setra logo. Overall, in 2015 Daimler Buses delivered about 250 double-decker buses in Europe. With a view to the easy accessibility, which is legally prescribed since this year, the double-decker bus can score with its larger capacity and very comfortable entryway. The next expansion wave in the industry is already in full swing: Increasingly more providers are expanding their offering by international tours. This also yields additional potential for Daimler Buses.
Increase in operating profit desired in 2016 despite difficult market Situation
In 2016, too, it can be expected that the tense situation on the individual bus markets will continue. In particular for Brazil and Latin America, Daimler Buses again expects a significantly declining market. However, the division again expects a slight increase in the market volume for Western Europe. Overall, Daimler Buses is striving for unit sales at the previous year’s Level worldwide.
“It is clear: The framework conditions remain challenging. Primarily in Latin America the market situation will certainly remain difficult for some time to come. However, thanks to our strong product substance and excellent marketing, we want to work against this consistently and hold our sales stable this year as well”, said Hartmut Schick.
“For this year, we are confident to reach an operating profit from the ongoing business slightly above the prior-year level. To achieve this, we will be implementing our strategy on a consistent basis. We inspire our customers with innovative vehicles, continue to build up our technological leadership and with our highly motivated team are developing the mobility solutions that will make our customers successful in the future as well.”
Daimler Buses continues to expand business in important growth Regions
The expansion of the global presence is an important lever for future growth in the bus division:
“With respect to the growth in new markets, our goal is clear: We want to develop custom-made solutions for each market and create synergies in our global production and sales network in the process”, said Hartmut Schick. “We have taken important decisions in recent years, which will be fully realized in 2016. A good example for this is the start of our new production location in India. Here, we have been producing for the local market since mid 2015, and are simultaneously tapping into important growth markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”
Overall, Daimler Buses has invested € 50 million in the production for the Indian plant in Chennai. There Daimler is producing Mercedes-Benz rearengine buses for the premium segment. Front-engine buses produced under the BharatBenz brand cover the needs of the Indian volume market. India is already the second biggest bus market in the world today. Due to the growing demand for passenger transport, experts are expecting high growth potential. In addition, exports of chassis from India had a successful start in 2015. Almost 300 units were delivered to Egypt, among others.
The division is also setting up a new sales structure in order to fully exhaust the growth potential in the upwardly mobile developing countries: To this end, six new regional centers are supporting sales and service directly at the customers’ locations in countries with highly promising growth prospects in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Since October 2015, the Regional Center for commercial vehicles in Dubai is responsible for sales and aftersales in 19 markets in Northern Africa and the Middle East. The activities of the bus division in Iran will also be managed from there in the future. With the end of the sanctions, the country is in great need of modernized passenger transport. In February 2016, the new regional center for East, Central and West Africa was opened in Nairobi, Kenya. From there it services 41 countries with a total of 770 million inhabitants.
The Regional Center for commercial vehicles in Pretoria, South Africa also went to the start in February. In future, sales and service for nine markets in Southern Africa will be managed from Pretoria. The fourth Regional Center was opened in early March. From Singaporte the team will manage the sales and service in 18 markets in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam.