* Sales up once again by 10 percent
* Leading global market share rises to 17 percent
* Expanded and updated product lineup in Europe
* Mercedes-Benz CapaCity urban bus to go into series production in 2007
Stuttgart, Mar 07, 2006
Sales at the DaimlerChrysler Buses and Coaches unit (Mercedes-Benz, Setra and Orion brands) continued to rise in 2005, increasing by 10% worldwide, to 36,200 vehicles and chassis (2004: 32,800). Chassis sales rose to 24,060 units (2004: 20,780). Even though the total market for buses and coaches over eight tons GVW expanded slightly, DaimlerChrysler Buses and Coaches strengthened its leading market position by boosting its global market share to 17% (2004: 16%). In 2005, DaimlerChrysler Buses and Coaches employed a total of 17,300 men and women (2004: 17,500), of whom 13,800 worked in Europe (2004: 13,600).
“We continued to strengthen our position as the world’s number one bus manufacturer last year,” said Wolfgang Diez, Senior Vice President of the DaimlerChrysler Buses unit. “Our sales figures increased more rapidly than the market for the third year in a row. Last year’s sales success was due in large part to the volume of exports from our chassis competence center in Brazil. In addition, we further improved our productivity and the structure of our processes, allowing us to more than offset negative external factors such as the rising price of raw materials and exchange-rate effects.”
Although the market for buses and coaches over eight tons GVW stagnated in Europe in 2005, sales at DaimlerChrysler Buses remained virtually unchanged from the previous year’s high level (9,650 vehicles and chassis compared to 9,710 in 2004). The business unit’s Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands took 22% of the European market, making DaimlerChrysler the leading supplier of buses and coaches in Europe by a significant margin.
In addition to posting sales successes, DaimlerChrysler Buses and Coaches presented a variety of new products for the European market at the continent’s largest bus and coach show, Busworld 2005 in Kortrijk, Belgium. The comprehensive range of offerings now includes a new generation of Mercedes-Benz Travego travel coaches, which are manufactured in the Hosdere plant. Located near Istanbul, the expanded Hosdere plant was officially opened in the summer of 2005. In Kortrijk, the business unit also presented the Mercedes-Benz Citaro Low Entry urban and rural-service buses as well as the new intercity bus series Setra MultiClass 400. With the introduction of this new series, Setra’s entire product range has been completely renewed in just eleven years. The range of new products was rounded off by the presentation of the city bus Mercedes-Benz CapaCity, which will be available for use in European urban areas beginning in 2007. The CapaCity is based on a new concept for local public transportation and can accommodate up to 190 passengers.
“All of the vehicles that we presented in Europe in 2005 will from this year on be fitted with Euro 4-compatible engines that use BlueTec technology,” stated Diez. “Thanks to our investments in new products and innovations, we are well prepared to face the challenges of the future.”
In 2005, the business unit also demonstrated its leadership in innovation and technology by presenting a number of environmentally friendly drive systems such as the hybrid drive for Orion-brand buses in North America. More than 1,000 hybrid vehicles from Orion have been sold to date. In fact, 825 Orion hybrid drive city buses will soon be on the road in New York City alone, making DaimlerChrysler the world’s largest supplier of buses equipped with the innovative hybrid technology.