DAIMLER SELLS 4% LESS BUSES
At Daimler earnings at all the automotive divisions decreased significantly compared with the first quarter of last year. Vans and Daimler Buses posted negative earnings. The Group’s total unit sales decreased by 4% to 773,800 passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Revenue amounted to €39.7 billion (Q1 2018: €39.8 billion). Net profit weakened only slightly to €2,149 million (Q1 2018: €2,354 million).
Daimler Buses’ sales decreased by 4% to 5,500 units in the first quarter. At €785 million, revenue was 8% lower than in the first quarter of last year (€850 million). EBIT amounted to minus €21 million (Q1 2018: plus €37 million) and return on sales fell to minus 2.7% (Q1 2018: plus 4.4%). This was primarily due to delivery delays caused by a changed internal certification process for coaches and intercity buses, as Daimler Buses reports. For full-year 2019, the division anticipates a significant overall increase in unit sales. This is based on slight growth in the EU30 region and a very positive sales trend in India. Sales in Latin America (excluding Mexico) are expected to remain at the level of last year. In the EU30 region, unit sales fell by 33% to 900 complete buses and bus chassis of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands. In Germany, sales fell from 400 to 300 units. The Brazilian market developed positively with an increase of 20% to 2,200 units. In Latin America (excluding Mexico) sales increased by only 2% to 3,200 chassis. In Mexico, the division recorded a substantial decline in sales of 400 units in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2018: 500).
Mercedes-Benz Vans increased its unit sales by 4% in the first quarter to 97,000 vehicles, its strongest first quarter to date. In the EU30 region, sales rose by 10% to the record level of 66,600 units (Q1 2018: 60,400). In the NAFTA region and in Latin America sales rose, however, sales in China decreased by 6% to 6,100 units. Sales in Russia, and in a difficult market environment in Turkey, were also significantly lower than in Q1 2018.
Daimler Trucks increased its unit sales by 2% to 115,900 vehicles in the first quarter (Q1 2018: 113,800). In the EU30 region (European Union, Switzerland and Norway), sales rose by 10% to 19,000 trucks (Q1 2018: 17,300). Sales in Turkey continued to be severely affected by the country’s considerable economic uncertainty and fell to 500 vehicles (Q1 2018: 1,800). In Asia, sales declined to 34,300 units (Q1 2018: 37,700).
Mercedes-Benz Cars sold 555,300 vehicles in the first quarter, which is 7% less than the high number sold in Q1 2018. In Europe, unit sales were down by 4% to 235,300 vehicles. Mercedes-Benz Cars expects a slight increase in unit sales in full-year 2019.
At Daimler Financial Services, new business decreased by 3% to €17.3 billion in the first quarter due to lower vehicle sales at the Group compared with the prior-year period. At the end of March, Daimler Financial Services’ portfolio comprised 5.3 million vehicles, representing a contract volume of €157.4 billion, an increase of 2% compared with the end of 2018.