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Continental, Daimler Focus on Smart Vehicle Industry

New acquisition improves fleet management capability.

by on Oct.05, 2016

Continental acquired Zonar, a smart fleet management company, with Daimler Trucks as a minority investor.

The trend of automakers searching out suppliers to develop smart vehicle technologies continues as Daimler is a minority investor in Continental AG new acquisition of smart fleet management technology provider Zonar.

“With this move, we are further expanding our portfolio and expertise in the arena of mobility services, and fostering our regional balance by investing into a fleet management provider in the U.S. that gives us access to a broad customer base and existing sales channels,” said Helmut Matschi, president of the Interior Division and Member of the Executive Board of Continental.

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One of the minority investors in Zonar is Daimler Trucks of North America and the new venture has the potential to chart the course of the future of smart fleet management globally, Continental said in a statement announcing the deal, which is subject to approval by both the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. (more…)

Daimler AG Expecting Banner Year for Cars, Trucks

Despite strong competition, Zetsche says ‘situation is good.’

by on Apr.09, 2014

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe loses 140 pounds but gains 4x horsepower. It's vehicles like this that has Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche expecting a big year.

Daimler AG predicts a big increase in earnings this year despite intense competition from its rivals, Audi and BMW.

“We are beginning 2014 at the same pace with which we finished 2013,” Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler board of management and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting.

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“We also review our plans critically,” he said. “But they seem to have been successful. We will keep our foot on the accelerator.” (more…)

Daimler Marks 125th Anniversary with Record Revenues and Profits

But challenges face the maker in 2012.

by on Feb.10, 2012

Daimler CEO Zetsche had good news to mark the close of the company's 125th anniversary.

Daimler AG, parent to Mercedes-Benz and Smart, is wrapping up its 125th anniversary with a series of all-times records, the maker has announced, including all-time earnings and revenues.

The German maker posted a net profit of 6 bllion euros, or roughly $8.2 billion, on record sales of 106.5 billion Euros, or $145 billon, last year.  Adding to the birthday news, Mercedes-Benz Cars achieved new peaks for unit sales, revenue and earnings before interest and taxes.

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Daimler’s truck operations, meanwhile, showed significant improvement in unit sales, revenue and earnings, despite global economic weakness.

After the 9% increase in sales in 2011, however, Daimler is only predicting modest growth, this year. Nevertheless, in regional terms, Mercedes-Benz Cars sees further growth opportunities in 2012 in North America, as well as in China, India and Russia. “Prospects in Western Europe are rather limited, however,” the company said.

(more…)

Daimler Adopts Detroit Brand

Chrysler’s not the only brand “Made in Detroit.”

by on Nov.01, 2011

Daimler is launching a new line that will also boast of its Detroit heritage.

Apparently Chrysler isn’t the only company thinking the tagline, “Made in Detroit,” has a certain cachet these days.  Its old partner, Daimler AG, also is creating its own Motown brand.

Daimler Trucks North America has rolled out its new Detroit marque, which is based on the existing Detroit Diesel brand.

“Detroit Diesel has long been synonymous with performance, quality, reliability and fuel efficiency. We will be building on this heritage with the Detroit brand,” said Andreas Renschler, the Daimler AG Board of Management member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses.

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“We will combine all the components of truck powertrains in the new Detroit brand. By offering a broad range of its own perfectly coordinated powertrain components, DTNA will be able to fulfill its customers’ requirements even more effectively in the future,” Renschler said.

(more…)

Mercedes Adding New Model at U.S. Plant

All new product will be fifth in Tuscaloosa.

by on Oct.21, 2011

Mercedes-Benz will add an all-new model at its Alabama assembly plant.

Daimler AG plans to spend $350 million to produce another model at it US production center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, starting in 2015, and also plans to add jobs next year at its Western Star truck plant in Portland, Oregon.

The entirely new Mercedes-Benz model will roll off the production line as its fifth product and is expected to add some 400 additional jobs at the plant.

Tuscaloosa has been the production site of the Mercedes-Benz M-, GL-, and R-Class SUVs and is also slated to start build the Mercedes-Benz C-Class for the North American market beginning 2014.

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said the new model coming to Tuscaloosa is part of the company’s plans to broaden its product line.

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“This new model from the Tuscaloosa plant is an important element of our growth strategy. It is one of the ten additional models which we will introduce within the next four years alone across all segments,” said the CEO, adding that, “At the same time, we are systematically broadening our manufacturing footprint in the NAFTA region.”

(more…)

Daimler to Increase Stake in Russian Maker Kamaz

The Russians are on western technology shopping spree.

by on Feb.11, 2010

In back, Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. (from left to right) Serguei Skvortsov, Managing Director, Troika Dialog, Andreas Renschler, Daimler Board of Management member responsible for Daimler Trucks & Daimler Buses, Serguei Chemezov, General Director of Rostechnologii State Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of OJSC Kamaz, Serguei Kogogin, General Director of Kamaz.

In back, Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. Seated left to right, Serguei Skvortsov, Managing Director, Troika Dialog, Andreas Renschler, Daimler Board of Management, Serguei Chemezov, General Director of Rostechnologii State Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of OJSC Kamaz, Serguei Kogogin, General Director Kamaz.

Daimler AG and Russia’s largest  investment bank, Troika Dialog, have signed a memorandum of understanding to increase  Daimler’s stake in Russia’s largest truck manufacturer, Kamskiy avtomobilny zavod, by the acquisition of 5% of the Kamaz shares held by Troika Dialog.

The price of the transaction was not disclosed. Kamaz has about 50,000 employees and $1 billion in annual revenue.

The announcement came on the  same day as Fiat entered an agreement with Russian automaker Sollers to share technology and build as many as 500,000,  small cars and SUVs in eastern Russia.

Under this heavy duty truck plan, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) would also  become a Kamaz shareholder.

If all the EU regulatory approvals are obtained, the Daimler and EBRD acquisitions would be made in parallel. No such regulatory impediment exists in Russia, as the presence of Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, at the signing ceremony confirms.

The Germans, once again, head east.

Daimler AG will initially increase its holding in Kamaz by 1% to 11%. The remaining 4% of the deal would be bought by the EBRD. The EBRD would also get a seat on the Kamaz board of directors.

Daimler already has a seat on the Kamaz board, the result of a strategic partnership with Kamaz, Russian Technologies and Troika Dialog signed in December 2008.

Daimler acquired a 10% stake in Kamaz just as the global Great Recession took hold and the Russian  auto market collapsed to half its former size.

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Heavy Duty!

“The planned increase of our stakes in Kamaz is strengthening the strategic partnership of Daimler Trucks at KAMAZ,” said Andreas Renschler, Daimler Board of Management member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses.   (more…)

Daimler’s Losses Continue To Mount

No turnaround in sight for the German luxury car maker.

by on Apr.28, 2009

TK

"Earnings in the second quarter are expected to be significantly negative once again," Uebber said.

Daimler AG lost more than $1.7 billion during the first quarter as its revenue dropped 22% from weak sales of luxury cars, trucks and vans.

The Daimler Group’s total revenue is likely to decrease significantly in full-year 2009, Bodo Uebber, Daimler’s chief financial officer, acknowledged during a conference call with analysts today. He said that it would be difficult for the German automaker to get back to profitability, though he continued to hold out hope in the second half of the year.

“Earnings in the second quarter are expected to be significantly negative once again,” he said. In addition, Daimler will also be asked to absorb a $700 million write down, according to the terms of new deal that terminates its ties with Chrysler LLC.

Daimler also expects its unit sales to drop dramatically this year.

“The Daimler Group’s total revenue is likely to decease significantly in full-year 2009,” Uebber said. As a result of the dire outlook, Daimler is mounting a quest for $5.2 billion in savings that will reach across the company. The cuts could include delaying or trimming some research and development and capital spending projects that were once untouchable. “We will do whatever it takes,” Uebber said.

Only last week, Ernst Lieb had said in an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com that, “while we’ve made cutbacks, you’ll not hear (Daimler AG CEO) Dieter Zetsche cutting our R&D.” (more…)