by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

Daimler Trucks – A true, Global Player

“As global as possible, as local as necessary”: It is along this principle that Daimler’s commercial vehicles division has been expanding its presence around the globe. Operating at full speed in both the traditional and the new markets thanks to its “Global Excellence” approach, the world’s largest truck manufacturer is optimally prepared for global competition. The Daimler Brand Evening in the context of the IAA press days in Hanover exemplifies this in an impressive way.

At the media presentation of its brand and product range, Daimler Trucks will not only be showing Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner and Fuso brand trucks, but will – for the first time in Europe – also jointly exhibit commercial vehicles from all BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets. For Russia, the company will be presenting a semi-trailer tractor from the Russian partner Kamaz (Kamaz 5490 HDT). The company’s presence in India will be highlighted by a BharatBenz brand vehicle (BharatBenz 4928 HDT). The Chinese engagement will be represented by an Auman truck (Auman GTL) produced by Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co. Ltd. (BFDA). The global brand and product line-up will be completed by an Actros produced by the plant in Juiz de Fora, Brazil (Mercedes-Benz Actros Brazil 2655 LS).

Market-tailored products within a global network

“Daimler Trucks is a ‘global player’ through and through – and not simply a European manufacturer that is internationally active”, summarizes Andreas Renschler, the Daimler Board of Management member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses, on the occasion of the press event. In saying this, Renschler is referring to Daimler Trucks’ broad brand range that systematically includes local know-how and that reflects country-specific needs.

At the same time, the commercial vehicles manufacturer, operating at 27 production sites worldwide, is exploiting considerable economies of scale through a multi-brand modular strategy. For example, the light and medium-duty BharatBenz trucks are based on the Fuso Canter and Fuso Fighter series, while the heavy-duty trucks of Daimler’s Indian brand are based on the Mercedes-Benz Axor platform. The engine series OM 457 also exemplifies the world-wide application of technological know-how. Currently used in commercial vehicles in Europe and Latin America, the engine will also be launched in China as of 2013. “Our global orientation, our platforms and our production network are our crucial competitive advantages”, explains Renschler. “In addition, our worldwide presence is an answer to the cyclical nature of our business because we can effectively balance market fluctuations.”

Growing demand in the “modern domestic segment”

In its international engagement, Daimler Trucks particularly focuses on the major growth markets of Russia, India, and China. All of these markets show a rapidly growing demand for trucks from the so-called “modern domestic segment”. The segment reflects the customers’ increased need for high-quality vehicles that are also cost-effective. By 2020, it is expected to account for more than half of the global market for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

The case of Russia underlines that Daimler Trucks is well prepared for these dynamics. In co-operation with its strategic partner Kamaz, the commercial vehicle division is penetrating the Russian truck market, and thus the largest truck market in Europe. Daimler AG and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development together hold 15 percent of the shares of Kamaz. In addition to the joint ventures Mercedes-Benz Trucks Vostok (MBTV) and Fuso Kamaz Trucks Rus. (FKTR), a licensing agreement from June 2012 contributes to the market exploitation. The agreement between the two partners seals the delivery of Mercedes-Benz cabs to the Russian truck maker and underpins how Daimler technology supports the modernization of the Russian truck brand Kamaz.

Since this year, the Indian truck market has been redefined by BharatBenz, a brand that was specifically created for the Asian country. Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, opened its state-of-the-art production site in Chennai in April this year, and will start to deliver the first heavy-duty trucks still this month. By 2014, the product range will be expanded to a total of 17 BharatBenz models, covering all weight segments from six to 49 tons GVW.

In China, BFDA picks up speed. The 50-50 joint venture between Daimler and Foton, one of the largest Chinese truck manufacturers, has been producing Auman brand trucks since July 2012. In the first half of 2013, BFDA will also begin to build a new engine plant at its headquarters in Beijing’s Huairou district, for which it will invest around €135 million.

“Global Excellence” also focuses on traditional markets

Despite the dynamics in the growth markets, the triad will stay Daimler Trucks’ home market; NAFTA, Japan and Europe will continue to account for a large part of the business. In fact, the “Global Excellence” approach, which has served as the guiding principle for the company’s long-term strategic development, promotes the further exploitation of these markets. Innovations in the areas of fuel efficiency, safety, and aerodynamics provide suitable answers to increasingly stringent environmental and emissions regulations. Not only are these innovations reducing fuel consumption and the total cost of ownership for customers. They are also contributing to boost society’s acceptance of commercial vehicles.

About Daimler Trucks

Daimler Trucks is a division of Daimler AG. It is the world’s largest globally operating manufacturer of trucks with a product range of unparalleled breadth in almost all countries worldwide. The division comprises the five truck brands Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Western Star, Fuso, and BharatBenz, as well as the U.S. school bus brand Thomas Built Buses. Its global production network encompasses 27 locations. In 2011, Daimler Trucks sold approximately 426,000 vehicles worldwide, and earned revenues of €28.75 billion with a total workforce of more than 77,000 employees. The division has achieved extensive synergies with the creation of a multi-brand development network, a global powertrain production system, and a worldwide procurement organization.

Credits: Daimler AG

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