As the market leader in its core markets, Daimler Buses focuses on ecologically responsible innovations that also meet the financial requirements of its customers. With its presentation of the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI and Setra ComfortClass 500 models, Daimler Buses is setting new standards in the premium bus segment. Market-related declines in demand for bus chassis in Latin America and the ongoing difficult situation in the European bus market had a negative impact on revenue and earnings last year. We began reorganizing our bus operations in 2012, thus creating the conditions for further growth at Daimler Buses.
|Amounts in millions of euros||% change|
|Return on sales (in %)||-5.9||3.7||.|
Investment in property, plant,
|Research and development expenditure||222||225||-1|
|Employees (December 31)||16,901||17,495||-3|
|Unit sales of Daimler Buses|
|Latin America (excluding Mexico)||17,800||25,048||-29|
Unit sales down from the prior year. Daimler Buses sold 32,100 buses and chassis worldwide in 2012 (2011: 39,700) and was able to defend its market leadership in its core markets in the segment for buses over eight tons gross vehicle weight. (See table 4.07)
The decline in sales volume compared with 2011 was largely due to lower orders for bus chassis in Latin America. The decrease in unit sales caused revenue to fall by €0.5 billion to €3.9 billion. At minus €232 million, EBIT was substantially lower than the figure recorded in 2011. Earnings were negatively affected also by expenditure of €155 million on the repositioning of our European and North American business systems.
Reorganization of European and North American business systems. Daimler Buses launched a growth and efficiency campaign known as “GLOBE 2013” in order to generate additional growth potential and strengthen the division’s competitiveness, particularly in
Europe. This program for safeguarding sustainable profitability is being rolled out along the entire value chain and at all locations, and aims to utilize potential for an earnings improvement in the magnitude of €200 million, to be realized by the end of 2014. One of its objectives is to intensify the links between all business locations in the European production network. As part of “GLOBE 2013,” Daimler Buses will also exploit existing growth potential in its traditional markets and further expand business in new ones. In response to the continually decreasing demand for city buses in North America in recent years, we decided to discontinue production of Orion buses in the United States and Canada. The American bus manufacturer Motor Coach Industries International (MCI) became the exclusive distributor of Setra coaches in the USA during the year under review, and we received a 10% share in MCI in return.
Varying business development in the regions. In Western Europe, the Daimler Buses brands Mercedes-Benz and Setra offer a complete range of city buses, intercity buses and coaches, as well as Mercedes-Benz bus chassis. The sovereign-debt crisis had a dampening effect on
customer demand in this region, but sales of 5,900 units were nonetheless at the level of the previous year. (See table 4.08) Daimler Buses was thus able to further strengthen its leading market position in Western Europe with a market share of approximately 28% (2011: 27%). In Turkey, we sold 1,100 units (2011: 1,100), benefiting from a larger number of public-sector orders for city buses than was the case in 2011. Sales of Mercedes-Benz bus chassis in Latin America (excluding Mexico) declined by 29% to 17,800 units. In Brazil, the stricter Euro V emissions standards were introduced in early 2012. In anticipation of this development, many purchases that would otherwise have been made in 2012 were concluded in 2011. With a market share of approximately 43% (2011: 43%), we were able to clearly maintain our leading market position in Latin America. The stable development of the Mexican market enabled Daimler Buses to sell 3,500 units there, just as it had done in the prior year. In addition, our market share of roughly 48% (2011: 50%) once again allowed us to defend our leading market position in Mexico last year. In the context of repositioning our North American bus business, sales of Orion city buses were discontinued in 2012.
Major orders for city buses and chassis from Brazil. Brazil’s major cities are already renewing their bus fleets and improving traffic infrastructures in preparation for the huge influx of visitors and traffic expected for the World Cup soccer championship in 2014 and the Olympic
Games in 2016. With its order for 135 new Mercedes-Benz city buses equipped with BlueTec 5 technology, the city of Fortaleza is just one of many environmentally conscious municipalities that are striving to modernize their local public transport fleets in anticipation of these events. We also received a major order from the Ribeirão Preto transportation company in São Paulo province for just under 390 Mercedes-Benz bus chassis. In addition, we will supply 2,600 school buses for the Brazilian educational program. The chassis will be built up as school buses together with a Brazilian bodybuilder and will be delivered in 2013.
New Mercedes-Benz Citaro named “Bus of the Year 2013. ”The new Citaro with its Euro VI-compliant engine greatly impressed the international jury of experts who selected the winner of the “Bus of the Year 2013” award. The new Citaro — the first series-produced regular-service bus
to comply with Euro VI — was praised for the economical and forward-looking transport solution it embodies. Our main goal in developing the Citaro was to combine environmental compatibility and economy with advances in performance, safety and comfort.
Der Checker und der neue Citaro
New ComfortClass 500 sets the benchmark. The Setra brand’s new-generation ComfortClass 500 coach sets new benchmarks for design, comfort, safety, and efficiency. The two-axle S 515 HD, the two- and three-axle S 516 HD and the three-axle S 517 HD were all
launched in the fall of 2012. The new aerodynamic design of the Setra ComfortClass 500 reduces fuel consumption. Aerodynamic adjustments have lowered the bus’s wind resistance by 20%, which translates into a 5% decrease in fuel consumption. With the help of additional individual measures, the Setra ComfortClass 500 now boasts a drag coefficient of 0.33, a figure unmatched in the industry.
Daimler Buses continues to work on clean drive systems. The world’s population is steadily growing and becoming increasingly urbanized. The need for mobility is therefore increasing worldwide, and this development is affecting the climate and the environment. Because buses
will play a key role in the mobility networks that will be required in the future, Daimler Buses is developing pioneering drive technologies to address the associated challenges. For example, it is optimizing vehicles by equipping them with ultramodern combustion engines. In particular, Daimler Buses introduced two additional Euro VI-compliant models in 2012 — the Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI and the Setra ComfortClass 500. Euro VI emission limits will become obligatory in early 2014, leading to a further drastic reduction of pollutant emissions. The two buses impressively demonstrated how emission reductions can be combined with enhanced fuel economy during the Record Run Buses 2012 comparative test. During this five-day event, which was monitored by neutral parties, five buses covered a total distance of almost 18,000 kilometers. The emission and fuel consumption performance of the Euro VI-compliant buses was then compared with that of their predecessors. The anticipated fuel savings of 4-6% (Citaro) and 5-6% (Setra) were not only achieved, but also significantly exceeded. In fact, both models cut fuel consumption by more than 8% compared to their predecessors and produced lower emissions thanks to their compliance with Euro VI.