Used Truck Sales up 29 percent as Headwinds Lash Economy
Daimler Trucks and Buses continued to perform strongly in 2015, despite the total commercial vehicle [CV] market being impacted by economic headwinds.
This is according to Mercedes-Benz CEO and executive director of manufacturing, Arno van der Merwe. He was addressing the media during the company`s Annual Business Review presentation in East London yesterday.
Van der Merwe said the company remained market leaders in various segments in the commercial vehicle`s sector, with total sales topping 5,300 units.
`Throughout the year, with various exchange rate impacts [that had] to be weathered, we strove to ensure market-related pricing for our customers and a steadfast focus on bringing total cost of ownership as low as possible,` he said.
Van der Merwe explained that penetration of its value chain offerings had increased across the board: 2.6 percent for Charterway, 13.7 percent for Fleetboard and 4.3 percent for Mercedes-Benz financial services.
Used Trucks Boom
Van der Merwe said that Truckstore remained a success story, with total sales growing 29 percent in 2015. `This flagship dealership and previously-owned truck retail business is poised to take the Regional Centre market by storm,` he enthused.
During the year, Mercedes-Benz increased its van market share by 1.3 percent in the large van market and by 3.8 percent in the mid-size van market. These results, he said, were driven by the introduction of new V-Class and Vito models. `In 2015, we continued to ensure that we have a van for all conceivable applications. Vans are the working man`s tools, families rely on them and they form an integral part of the country`s public transport systems.`
He said the highlight for the company`s CV stable was the recently announced, new Regional Centre for Southern Africa. All CV sales and services for the SADC region, which incorporates Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, are now managed by the company`s office in Zwartkops, Pretoria, through general distributors and dealer partners.
During his visit, as part of the Regional Centre opening, member of the Daimler Board and Management, Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, indicated the impact the centre would have on assembly operations at the company`s East London plant, with the ultimate goal being to assemble 100 percent of new commercial vehicles and buses supplied to the nine African countries.
Made in India
Also last year the company`s FUSO brand introduced its first truck sourced from Daimler India Commercial Vehicles. Van der Merwe said the brand had a product offering model range that was expected to double sales in the coming years.
He concluded by saying the Mercedes-Benz bus and coach division had `lead from the front`, as it was the first to market with Compressed Natural Gas [CNG] buses, delivering 40 of these units to the City of Tshwane in 2015.