DAIMLER BUSES - A STRONG 2017 FOLLOWED BY A PR0MISING 2018
Daimler Buses sold 28,700 buses and bus chassis worldwide in 2017 (2016: 26,200). The Daimler bus division thus defended its absolute market leadership in its most important core markets: European Union including Switzerland and Norway, and further Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. Revenue increased by 4 percent to 4.4 billion euros. The division’s EBIT of 243 million euros was at the high prior-year level (2016: 249 million euros
On the product side, 2018 will be a very special year for Daimler Bus with the launching of the fully electric Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus. The prototype has already completed an extensive cycle of tests and trials,
The first of these vehicles will be delivered in late 2018 and will be put into use in the framework of customer-oriented driving tests. Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH, the public-transport company in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Daimler subsidiary EvoBus GmbH in November 2017. Series production of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro with fully electric drive will start at the bus plant in Mannheim towards the end of the year.
The electric Citaro is part of Daimler Buses’ “eMobility” overall system.
Prototypes of the city bus have already completed an extensive cycle of tests and trials. For example, they have successfully passed through winter trials at the Arctic Circle and summer trials under very high temperatures. The development team focused in particular on thermal management, because the energy consumption of a fully electric city bus is decisively influenced by energy requirements for cooling and especially for heating the large interior with doors frequently opening and closing in regular service. The extensive practical tests show that thermal management is one of the outstanding features of the fully electric Citaro. It guarantees exceptional energy efficiency and thus lays the foundation for a practical range for the new city bus.
Daimler will invest approximately 200 million euros by 2020 alone in the implementation of the CASE strategy, in order to shape the future of mobility, offer solutions enabling passengers to travel safely, flexibly and free of emissions.
At Daimler, CASE stands for the future areas of connectivity (Connected), automated driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive (Electric).
Another focus at Daimler Buses is on the promising new markets. One example is a milestone in Africa: Mercedes-Benz has launched two new bus models in Kenya, an important African market. The leading bus manufacturer has thus reacted to steadily increasing regional demand for comfortable and safe buses for personal transport in East and Central Africa. Both models are assembled in cooperation with the local sales partner DT Dobie Kenya in Nairobi for the domestic market there. The Mercedes-Benz 917 city bus is designed for urban, school and shuttle operation and the Mercedes-Benz 1730 is designed for long distances.
In the development of the new bus models, Daimler Buses profits from its global positioning. At present, the great majority of Kenyan buses are based on truck chassis, which offer passengers only low levels of comfort due to their comparatively firm suspension and high entry. However, the two new bus models are based on tried-and-tested bus chassis from the Daimler plants in Chennai (India) and Sao Bernardo do Campo (Brazil). Both of them have already proven their worth on difficult surfaces.
Daimler is expanding its bus business also in East Asia, and will start selling Mercedes-Benz buses in Taiwan in 2018. The chassis are adapted to meet local requirements and come from the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo (Brazil). The local partner MFTB Taiwan Company Ltd. – a joint venture between the Daimler commercial-vehicles subsidiary FUSO and the Taiwanese Shung Ye Group – builds up the chassis into complete vehicles. MFTB Taiwan Company Ltd. has hitherto sold only FUSO buses; Mercedes-Benz buses now supplement the portfolio in the premium segment. The sales partner has already ordered the first hundred chassis units. Market entry in Taiwan is an important step in the context of Daimler Buses’ global growth strategy. With a volume of approximately 3000 units above eight tons, the bus market in Taiwan is comparable with European markets such as Spain or Italy.