Mercedes-Benz Vans has reported record sales, revenue and EBIT figures for the financial year 2015. The Vans division delivered 321,000 vehicles to customers as sales figures outstripped previous totals (previous year’s figure: 295,000, plus nine percent) – despite an inconsistent market environment worldwide. Revenue also reached a new record level, up 15 percent to 11.5 billion euros (previous year’s figure: 10.0). Mercedes-Benz Vans’ EBIT rose by almost a third to 880 million euros (previous year’s figure: 682 million euros, plus 29 percent). The division is anticipating further growth and a continuation of the very positive business trend in 2016.
Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans: “In 2015 we significantly exceeded our 2014’s record figures. I would like to say a very heartfelt thank you to our successful worldwide team for this outstanding performance.” “In 2016 we want to further continue our growth path,” added Volker Mornhinweg. “First of all we are focused on systematically reinforcing our position as technology leader. And secondly we aim to continue to strengthen our position in the existing markets and to open up additional potential for growth worldwide. The next milestone is the launch of the V-Class in China.”
Attractive product portfolio successful in established and new markets
The Mercedes-Benz Vans strategic product initiative proved highly successful, as the market sales figures clearly show. 2015 was the first full year of sales as a full line supplier with a totally revamped product portfolio. In the core Western Europe market Mercedes-Benz Vans’ sales increased by ten percent to around 208,500 units (previous year’s figure: 190,000). The van manufacturer extended its dominance in the mid-size and large van sector with a market share of 18.4 percent (previous year’s figure: 18.2). In the domestic German market Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved record sales of 88,400 units (previous year’s figure: 79,900).
Despite the difficult economic environment, sales in Eastern Europe rose to 32,200 units – up five percent on the previous year. The Russian market experienced a 31 percent decline in 2015. Nevertheless, the division managed to sell a total of 9,100 vans (previous year’s figure: 11,500, minus 21 percent). This makes Mercedes-Benz Vans the third biggest supplier in Russia and the biggest to be headquartered outside the country. In 2015 the manufacturer celebrated an important milestone with its partner GAZ in Nizhny Novgorod when the 10,000th Sprinter Classic rolled off the production lines.
Mercedes-Benz Vans was able to reinforce its strong market position in the NAFTA region too. The division increased deliveries by around 29 percent to 40,500 units (previous year’s figure: 31,500). 32,400 of these vehicles were sold in the USA (plus around 25 percent, previous year’s figure: 25,800 vans) – a new high. The driving factors here were the continuing success of the Sprinter and the launch of the Metris, the US market’s equivalent of the Vito, at the end of the year.
In Brazil the market for large vans declined significantly in 2015, with a drop of around 37 percent. Mercedes-Benz Vans sold a total of 6,500 vehicles here (previous year’s figure: 9,600, minus 32 percent). However, the division increased its market share in the large vans sector by around three percentage points to 24 percent. In Argentina the market for large vans grew by around seven percent. Mercedes-Benz Vans’ products were in very high demand, with 64 percent growth across all segments. In total the division delivered over 6,100 vehicles to customers (previous year’s figure: 3,800, plus 64 percent). The division has significantly expanded its market share in the large van segment to 43 percent (plus nine percentage points). Mercedes-Benz Vans sold a total of 15,800 vans in Latin America (previous year’s figure: 16,100, minus two percent).
Increase in large-scale orders from international customers
The central drivers of growth last year were fleet business and the increasing number of large-scale orders. In 2015 sales of Mercedes-Benz vans to international fleet operators and large customers rose by around 13 percent, topping the record set in 2014. In Europe the division reported growth of around ten percent in sales to international large customers. In overseas markets Mercedes-Benz Vans delivered around 40 percent more vehicles to this customer group. The key markets here included the USA, Mexico, Australia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
Sprinter production in the USA for further growth
2015 was also the Sprinter’s most successful year ever: in its 20th anniversary year the “world van” achieved growth of over four percent to around 194,200 vehicles (previous year’s figure: 186,300). Since its market launch in 1995 a total of three million units of the large van have been delivered to customers worldwide. Demand for the Sprinter among US customers in particular is rising all the time: around 28,600 Sprinter vehicles were delivered to customers in the USA in 2015, eleven percent more than in the previous year (previous year’s figure: 25,800). Mercedes-Benz Vans is planning to be able to supply its customers in North America with the next-generation Sprinter even more effectively and quickly in future. As announced at the beginning of 2015, the division is to set up a new production location in Charleston in the US state of South Carolina. Over the course of the coming years, Mercedes-Benz Vans will be investing around half a billion US dollars in development of the new plant. The ground-breaking ceremony will take place in 2016.
Further expansion and positive business performance planned for 2016
In 2016 Mercedes-Benz Vans will continue to pursue a policy of international growth, based on its “Vans goes global” strategy. The division is planning significant increases in sales, particularly in the established markets in Western Europe. Where the Sprinter is concerned, the division is aiming for further growth, above all in the North American market. Mercedes-Benz Vans is expecting that the availability of the Metris/Vito in North and Latin America will trigger additional demand this year. In 2016 the division will be launching the Vito in China to unlock further potential.
The launch of the V-Class MPV in China, the world’s biggest car market, should see Daimler’s Vans division attract new groups of customers in the privately used vans segment. The Mercedes-Benz V-Class will premiere in Beijing, China on 18 March and will be available from mid-April. It is tailored to the tastes and needs of Chinese customers. It is fitted, for example, with a range of luxurious features. Production of the V-Class at Daimler’s local joint venture Fujian Benz Automotive Co., Ltd (FBAC) in Fuzhou has already started. This means that Mercedes-Benz Vans is now producing the V-Class on another continent, with uniform Mercedes-Benz production processes and production standards. The plant of Fujian Benz Automotive collaborates closely with the Spanish production site in Vitoria, Mercedes-Benz Vans’ global competence centre for mid-size vehicles. The plant in Fuzhou manufactures solely for the Chinese market. The V-Class has been available in Japan since January 2016. In spring it will also be available in the United Arab Emirates and other markets in the Middle East.
Where revenue is concerned too, Mercedes-Benz Vans expects significant increases in 2016. Mercedes-Benz Vans has set itself the goal of slightly outperforming last year’s EBIT.
Expansion of product portfolio with addition of new Mercedes-Benz pickup
Mercedes-Benz Vans is the first premium manufacturer to introduce a pickup, expanding its product portfolio into a very promising segment. As part of the global growth strategy, the pickup offers the perfect way to unlock new customer segments. These versatile vehicles with all-round qualities and a payload of around one tonne are popular worldwide and, as such, offer good sales potential. The initial target markets for the new vehicle are Latin America, South Africa, Australia and Europe.
Source: Mercedes-Benz Vans