DaimlerChrysler product offensive underscores its future competitiveness as the world’s largest producer of commercial vehicles
Stuttgart/Amsterdam, 10/17/2005 – DaimlerChrysler is expecting continued positive developments for its commercial vehicle business in 2005. The company announced its forecast at the RAI European Road Transport Show in Amsterdam. In the first six months of 2005, the company’s Commercial Vehicles division increased its sales to 401,000 units, topping its figure for the comparable period of 2004 by nearly 30 percent. It posted an operating profit of €1.2 billion for the same period, exceeding last year’s figure by 68 percent.
At the European Road Transport Show in Amsterdam, the Commercial Vehicles division is presenting vans and trucks designed for safe, economical and environmentally friendly transport of goods. The range of vehicles presented by Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi Fuso is complemented by a broad spectrum of services on offer, ranging from the initial purchase to the remarketing of vehicles. This DaimlerChrysler Commercial Vehicles product offensive is part of the “Global Excellence” optimization program, which is aimed at making the division more independent of market fluctuations in the future.
“Despite the cyclical markets, our declared aim is to maintain our pro-fitability for the long term, even in a difficult economic climate,” said Renschler, adding that the division intends to counter the fluctuations of the international commercial vehicle markets at an early stage with its “Global Excellence” optimization program. The program comprises four initiatives conceived to permanently put the Commercial Vehicles division on a solid foundation.
The first initiative, “Optimization of the Business Model,” is designed to increase the division’s efficiency. Renschler pointed out that the two keys to success are the active control of market cycles and fine-tuning of management resources worldwide. The objective of the second initiative, “Operational Excellence,” is the ongoing improvement of operational business processes. The third initiative of the Global Excellence program is focused on further penetrating the markets with DaimlerChrysler products.
The fourth pillar of Global Excellence is the “Future Product Generations” initiative, and the Commercial Vehicles division demonstrated its commitment to this program by launching five new vehicles at the RAI truck show: the Mercedes-Benz Vito 4×4 van with all-wheel drive, “lightweight” construction vehicles from the Axor family, BlueTec diesel technology for the Atego and Axor truck series, and — the highlight of DaimlerChrysler’s range of heavy-duty long-distance vehicles — the Actros Cruiser 1860 LS concept truck with the new Mercedes Powershift transmission.
Mitsubishi Fuso presented the new generation of the Canter lightweight truck. The new Canter trucks, which are manufactured in Portugal, were launched on the European markets in the spring of 2005. A version of the Canter with a hybrid drive system for the Japanese market was also on display. Plans call for it to go into series production in Japan in 2006.