Bloomberg News

Daimler’s Fuso Says Full-Year Vehicle Sales May Rise

October 28, 2011

(Corrects year in first paragraph.)

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Daimler AG, the world’s largest maker of heavy-duty vehicles, said full-year truck sales at the Fuso division of Japan may beat 2010 levels because of growth in Asia and Brazil.

Fuso’s third-quarter sales gained 71 percent from the second quarter to 39,793 vehicles, Albert Kirchmann, president of the division, said at a briefing with journalists today in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Full-year deliveries may beat last year’s 141,000 units.

“The uptrend in sales is clearly noticeable following the events during spring,” when the earthquake in Japan caused a suspension of manufacturing, Kirchmann said.

Fuso, based in Kawasaki, Japan, halted production and set up a temporary headquarters in Osaka after the March earthquake and tsunami damaged factories in the country. The maker of the Canter light commercial vehicle accounted for 40 percent of Daimler’s 355,300 truck sales last year.

Daimler’s global truck division recorded a 12 percent increase in earnings before interest and taxes in the third quarter, fueled by a 74 percent surge in deliveries in North America, where Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler operates the Freightliner brand. Sales in Asia rose just 3 percent.

The German company, which expects “strong” growth in truck sales in 2011, predicted yesterday that heavy-vehicle deliveries would increase in North America and Asia next year.

‘Very Positive’ Demand

Demand in Association of Southeast Asian Nation markets is “very positive” while sales in Brazil, Australia and the Pacific region are also providing momentum, said Kai-Uwe Seidenfuss, head of international sales at Fuso. Deliveries in Asia accounted for 67 percent of Fuso’s global sales last year, the executive said today.

Fuso’s nine-month global sales fell 4.5 percent from a year earlier to 96,247 units, the company said today in a statement. The brand has a goal of doubling deliveries outside Japan in coming years to more than 200,000 vehicles from the 2010 figure, according to Kirchmann.

“Fuso will make a weighty contribution toward our goal of more than 500,000 trucks worldwide by 2013,” Andreas Renschler, head of the Daimler Trucks division, said in the statement.

--Editors: Tom Lavell, Robert Valpuesta

To contact the reporter on this story: Andreas Cremer in Ludwigsburg, Germany, via acremer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net


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