Daimler Buses sells 30,888 units in 2018, India a key growth driver

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 04 Mar 2019


Daimler Buses has reported global sales of 30,888 buses and chassis in calendar year 2018, up 7.71 percent year on year (2017:  28,676). The sustained high demand for complete buses, the slowly recovering Brazilian economy and growth in India were major contributors to this great sales success.

The Daimler Buses division was thus able to maintain its position as market leader in the most important core markets EU30 (EU, Switzerland and Norway), Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. Return on sales was 5.9 percent (compared with 6.2 percent in the prior year) and was therefore in line with targets.

Based on the continued favourable market conditions, Daimler Buses expects a major sales increase in 2019. In Europe and India in particular, the Buses division anticipates positive sales development. For the current business year the business unit is aiming for a return on sales between 5 and 7 percent.

Till Oberwörder: "At Daimler Buses we're very pleased with the 2018 business year. We've significantly increased our worldwide sales."

Commenting on the CY2018 sales, Till Oberwörder, Head of Daimler Buses & Chairman of the Board of Management at EvoBus GmbH, said: "At Daimler Buses we're very pleased with the 2018 business year. We've significantly increased our worldwide sales. With the market launch of our fully electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, new digital services and our new-generation minibus, we have also taken some important steps toward the future. It was an incredible performance by our international bus team! We have also set some ambitious targets for the coming year and intend to continue growing – not just in our established markets but especially in the world's new growth regions."

Focus on three strategic operating fields
In order to achieve its aims, Daimler Buses is concentrating on three strategic operating fields: global market presence, technology leadership and business excellence. With the help of strategic partnerships the business unit aims to ensure the generation of additional expertise in new technologies and services.

As a market leader in our major core markets, Daimler Buses says it continuously develops its classic product portfolio and thus strengthens what has traditionally been its core business. The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, for example, forms the basis for a completely new generation of the successful Mercedes-Benz minibuses.

With products adapted to meet local requirements, an efficient production network and customer-oriented sales and service offerings, Daimler Buses continues to tap into growth potential in promising markets like North Africa, the Near and Middle East, south-east Asia and India.

The Buses division benefits from the Regional Centres it established in 2015 that are located in close proximity to customers in these regions: In 2018 Daimler Buses was able to increase sales in these emerging regions by around 37 percent to nearly 7,000 units. With the Chennai plant (India) as its base, the business unit intends to gain greater market share in India with its BharatBenz brand while, at the same time, strengthening the plant as an export hub. An efficient production network ensures the Bus division remains flexible in deciding whether new export markets should be served from India, Brazil or Europe.

With the launch last year of the fully electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, Daimler Buses has been able to offer a locally emission-free urban bus for environmentally-friendly public transport in cities and urban areas. The battery-electric eCitaro is series-ready. As of a few weeks ago the first vehicles are already in service as part of the public transport systems in Hamburg and Heidelberg. The bus plant in Mannheim is ready to begin deliveries.

As the development of battery technology is progressing at a rapid pace, the eCitaro is already designed to be transitioned to the battery technology of the future. As of 2020 the future use of solid-state batteries will be an option. The next generation of lithium-ion batteries will soon follow. Furthermore, as of 2022 the eCitaro’s range will be increased yet again by a range extender in the form of a fuel cell for generating electricity.

In the coming months, Daimler Buses will be expanding this portfolio and has a five-percent share in IVU – one of the leading companies in the creation of business management software for public transport operations.

Targeting sustainable, profitable growth
In order to create the basis for sustainable, profitable growth, Daimler Buses says it is continuously developing its worldwide production network. To this end the Buses division bundles its competence in development and production such as, for example, the safety technologies and assistance systems at the Neu-Ulm location and the series production of electric buses in the Mannheim plant. As announced in 2017, by 2020 about 140 million euros will be invested in production locations and about 200 million euros in new technologies.

In addition to the systematic cooperation with other Daimler business units, in the future Daimler Buses will increasingly count on strategic collaboration with partners to generate new perspectives and additional expertise in technologies and services. Collaboration will allow the Buses division to tailor its products even more closely to the needs of new markets and customers. 

Also read: Daimler Trucks sells over 500,000 trucks in 2018, double-digit growth for Daimler India CV  

HOW DAIMLER BUSES' GLOBAL SALES STACK UP IN CY2018