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April 30, 2014 3:00 PM, EDT
Daimler’s North American Truck Sales Lead 1Q Earnings
John Sommers II for TT

Daimler Trucks’ first-quarter unit sales rose 7%, led by North American and Asian sales, and its unit earnings before interest and taxes almost tripled to $472 million.

Truck sales rose to 108,500 worldwide as revenue increased 1% to $9.8 billion, parent company Daimler AG reported April 30.

North American unit sales climbed 13% to 34,558 trucks, led by U.S. sales that increased 15% to 30,592 units.

The company projected North American market growth of about 10% this year, “thanks to the increasing economic momentum.”

That is in line with a prediction last month by Wolfgang Bernhard, head of Daimler’s global truck and bus operations, who cited the 10% growth figure in a speech at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

But Daimler cautioned that “with the exception of North America, no significant dynamism is to be expected in most of the core markets,” adding that “global demand for medium- and heavy-duty trucks . . . can only be expected at around the level of the previous year.”

Overall truck segment earnings were hurt by lower sales in Latin America and from foreign exchange rates, Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler said in a statement.

Daimler Trucks makes Freightliner and Western Star brand trucks in North America as well as Detroit brand engines, transmissions and axles.