DAIMLER BUSES CONTINUES LEADERSHIP ROLE AND GOES ELECTRICAL
Daimler Buses last year increased its earnings by nine percent to € 214 million (PY € 197 million) despite the massive market decline in Brazil. These earnings include expenses from the restructuring of the Daimler Group’s dealer network as well as income that resulted from the sale of the investment in New MCI Holdings Inc. in the US. Return on sales increased to 5.2% (PY 4.7%). Daimler Buses is thus benchmark in the bus business. Overall, Daimler Buses sold 28,100 buses and chassis (PY 33,200) and thus maintained its undisputed market leadership in its core markets in the segment for buses with a maximum permissible gross laden weight over eight tons. The complete bus business in Western Europe developed particularly well. This enabled the business division to buffer the decline of the Brazilian bus market, which plummeted by 40% last year.
In the area of alternative drives, Daimler Buses is developing even more strongly into a system consultant for cities and bus operators. A special application already enables each customer to assess precisely which powertrain technology can replace a diesel bus in the specific case. In doing this, all relevant parameters are included in the calculation, from the length of the lines to the number of passengers, the charging infrastructure and the size of the battery as well as the standing times. Thus, Daimler Buses is offering the customers a future-proof overall package of vehicles, holistic advice and service for the urban transport of the future.
The expertise of Daimler Buses in the area of local public transport can be experienced by passengers of Bus Rapid Transit Systems (BRT) in 35 cities of the world. Daimler Buses professionals have also worked on the construction and operation of the BRT System in the Olympia city of Rio de Janeiro. About 400 Mercedes-Benz buses are in use on a stretch of 100 kilometers. At this time, new lines are under construction for the satellite city of Niterói with around 500,000 inhabitants. The bus connection to Rio will thus be shortened from two hours to only 30 minutes. In the meantime, mega cities like Mexico City and Istanbul are also relying on this intelligent bus system. BRT is becoming increasingly popular in Europe as a significantly less costly alternative to rail-bound systems. This also offers additional growth potential for Daimler Buses since the division not only has the right buses for these systems but also possesses long-standing expertise in the area of urban planning and the required service know-how for the operation of modern BRT systems.
Daimler Buses will continue to expand its lead in innovation power in the future as well. This applies primarily for the drivetrain – which is a decisive factor, especially with respect to the total cost of ownership. In its Intercity buses and tourist coaches, Daimler Buses is again setting the efficiency benchmark with the latest generation of the OM471 diesel engine. In the tourist coaches of Setra and in the Mercedes-Benz Travego, this engine and other vehicle measures achieve a reduction in fuel costs by around four percent with simultaneously greater robustness and performance. For a driving distance of 100,000 kilometers and fuel consumption of about 24 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers, each touring coach equipped with the new generation of engines saves about 1,000 of liters fuel and reduces CO2 emissions by 2.5 tons year after year.
As an alternative to the further optimized drivetrain with a combustion engine, the next steps on the road to the future are the battery-electric Citaro E-CELL and the hydrogen-driven Citaro F-CELL. They are based on a joint E-Mobility platform. On this basis, Daimler Buses will bring both powertrain concepts to production standard and on the roads by 2018. In the development of these technologies, Daimler Buses benefits strongly from its affiliation in the group because the vehicle divisions are also working together on the road to emission-free driving. For example, this also applies for the integration of the new electronics platform B2E in the Citaro.