- Strategic focus on growth markets is bearing fruit – First ‘made in India’ buses are delivered to local customers
- Successful debut of natural-gas-driven city bus Citaro – Augsburg transport opts for new top product
- M 936 G natural gas engine and latest generation of OM 471 diesel engine demonstrate top technological standing of Daimler Buses with high fuel savings and low CO2 emissions
- Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses: “We are going into promising growth markets like India and at the same time are demonstrating our leading technological role with the natural gas Citaro. We are thus underlining our claim to the global leadership and top technological achievements.”
In a continuously challenging market environment Daimler Buses is demonstrating the success of its strategic orientation and its position as provider of leading technological products and services. Shortly after the production start in the new plant located in the Indian city of Chennai, the first buses are currently being delivered to buyers on location. In Europe the convincing new natural gas Citaro is already winning customers with its excellent consumption and emission values.
At a press event staged in Stuttgart before Europe’s most important bus show Busworld 2015 which will be held in the Belgian city of Kortrijk in October, Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, had this to say: “We are going into promising growth markets like India and at the same time are demonstrating our leading technological role in the European core markets with the natural gas Citaro. We are thus underlining our claim als global leader in the bus business and top technological achievements.”
Hartmut Schick had this to say on the current development of business: “Our market environment is challenging – we are prepared for this. We are growing with our complete buses in Europe and are building up our leading position in the difficult Brazilian market.. This shows: We have the right strategy and we are implementing it on a consistent basis.”
Significantly higher unit sales in Western Europe
In the first half, the buses of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands were in demand, particularly in Western Europe, where Daimler Buses managed to grow sales by eight percent to more than 3,000 units from January to June, thanks also to the boom in long-distance bus lines. Thus, the market leadership was clearly maintained with a market share of 33.3 percent. Around 1,000 buses were sold in Germany. Accordingly, about every second bus on the home market came from the house of Daimler.
Daimler Buses could not escape the market decline in Latin America, where chassis sales in the first six months of the year dropped by around 25 percent to about 6,200 units. That the products are convincing is also evident in the development in Brazil,where the market share rose significantly to nearly 53 percent in mid-year – with growth of a good seven percent. In addition, Daimler Buses was able to post important major orders in Latin America in recent months. Among others, the Brazilian metropolis of Salvador ordered 80 bus chassis, and 40 articulated bus chassis were delivered in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito. In addition, 30 new travel coaches for the overland transport were ordered in Peru.
Thanks to the strong business with complete buses in Western Europe, in the first half of 2015 revenues reached the previous year’s level of EUR 1.91 billion. Unit sales dropped by 12 percent to around 13,000 buses worldwide.
One proof of the robustness of the Daimler Buses business model is the return on sales, which reached 5.5 percent in the second quarter despite the weakness in Latin America and was thus significantly above the previous year’s level of 4.8 percent.
Dominant role in the intercity bus market
Daimler Buses is strongly represented with its products in the booming intercity bus market of Germany. Daimler is the market leader in the intercity bus market with a market share of around 55 percent. And when it comes to double-decker buses, 80 percent of the long-distance buses carry the Setra logo.
Last year, the passenger numbers in the German intercity bus market were more than doubled to around 20 million. Meanwhile about 700 intercity buses are already in daily use in Germany and the providers are also expanding internationally.
Daimler Buses is entering important growth markets
Daimler Buses is driving forward into important growth markets in order to continue expanding its strong global position. The current focus is on India where the local bus market offers enormous potential. India is already the second largest bus market in the world, and the volume of buses over eight tons is expected to more than double to about 80,000 buses on the subcontinent until the year 2020.
In May, Daimler Buses opened a new plant in the Indian city of Chennai with investments of EUR 50 million in the location. The plant is initially designed for a production output of 1,500 buses a year. The capacity can be expanded up to a maximum of 4,000 units.
The BharatBenz brand meanwhile includes front-engine buses of the Indian volume market with bodies provided by the British bus manufacturer Wrightbus. Going forward, Daimler will produce rear-engine buses under the Mercedes-Benz brand in Chennai for the premium segment.
The first buses from the production in Chennai will be delivered to private and government customers in India this month, and the exports of buses and chassis from Indian production are growing as well. Since the end of 2014, chassis have been delivered to Egypt, and the first prototypes have already gone to Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya and Peru.
Citaro NGT world premiere – a great step forward in efficiency
The first example of our leading technological products is the new, natural-gas-driven urban bus Citaro. With around 45,000 units sold, the Citaro is already the most successful city bus in the world today. Equipped with the newly developed gas engine M 936 G, it will now become the benchmark for natural gas buses. Compared to the predecessor model, the Citaro NGT is more efficient by as much as 20 percent. If the tank is filled with renewable natural gas, the Citaro operates virtually CO2 neutral. In part it is significantly below the extremely strict emission limits set by Euro VI, and due to its practically soot-free combustion, it doesn’t need SCR technology and particulate filters.
The benefits have already convinced Stadtwerke Augsburg GmbH – among others – and the transport operator has placed its first order. The total volume includes 53 articulated and 15 single vehicles. The first deliveries to customers are scheduled for December 2015.
The segment of urban buses in Western Europe covers an average of around 10,500 registrations per year at a stable level. In the highly specialized segment of urban coaches with a natural gas powertrain, Europe currently accounts for close to 1,000 units per year. Daimler Buses expects that this number will continue to grow due to environmental projects in conurbation areas.
The way to the E-Bus is paved
Alternatively to the further optimized powertrain with a combustion engine, the next stations on the road into the future are the Citaro E-CELL and Citaro F-CELL. At Daimler Buses they will be based on a common e-mobility platform, which will be used to put production-ready zero-emission drive concepts on the road. Daimler Buses assumes that it will be able to offer the battery-electric Citaro E-CELL even before the year 2020 followed by the Citaro F-CELL.
In the development stage Daimler Buses benefits from its group affiliation. All vehicle divisions are working closely together on the road to locally emission-free driving. Thus, for example, research tasks can be bundled. Certain components like the fuel cell stacks can also be used in the same way in passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
New generation of diesel engines underlines leading technological role
A second example of the high art of engineering in engine development at Daimler is the latest generation of the OM 471 diesel engine, which enables another significant reduction in fuel consumption and wCO2 emissions.
The latest generation of the heavy-duty engine has been effectively oriented to yield low operating costs. The bus consumption of diesel and AdBlue has been lowered by a total of four percent. In addition the CO2 emissions have been further reduced. For an annual driven distance of 100,000 kilometers and fuel consumption of about 25 liters per 100 kilometers, each touring coach equipped with the new engine generation saves around 1,000 liters of fuel a year and consequently emits some 2.5 tons less CO2.
Daimler Buses delivers the best mobility solutions
Daimler Buses sees itself not only as a bus manufacturer but as a mobility provider. An important growth field of the mobility offering are the so-called Bus Rapid Transit Systems (BRT), or fast bus lines which travel on dedicated lanes for efficient passenger transport in big cities.
BRT can be planned and implemented at a much lower cost than railbound systems. In addition, the costs of current operations are significantly lower and BRT can be adapted more flexibly when a new route proves to be more expedient, for example. Daimler Buses offers the right buses for such systems, as well as a comprehensive range of consulting services. A 15-person team of experts is currently supporting around 30 cities around the globe in the planning, introduction and further development of rapid transit bus lines.
At the same time, with its extensive service offers Daimler Buses also ensures that Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses can operate reliably in the cities and rural areas. This is accomplished by Omniplus, among others. With nearly 650 locations throughout Europe, our Omniplus network of Daimler Buses is the densest service network on the continent.