Daimler Truck North America Q2 Sales Fall 4.7% Year-on-Year

North American Performance Outpaces Sales Elsewhere in the World as Expected
Western Star 57X
Daimler's Western Star 57X. (Daimler Truck)

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Daimler Truck North America sold 48,230 vehicles in the second quarter of 2024, a 4.7% decrease compared with 50,618 trucks and buses in the same period in 2023, parent company Daimler Truck said July 8.

Class 8 truck brands Freightliner and Western Star are DTNA units, as is Thomas Built Buses, a major player in the U.S. school bus market.

DTNA parent company Daimler Truck sold 112,195 trucks and buses in the most recent quarter, a 14.9% decrease compared with the prior-year period’s 131,888, with Asian sales in particular taking a hammering.

Daimler Truck’s Asian subsidiary saw a 29.3% slump in sales to 28,342 in Q2 from 40,097 vehicles in the year-ago period. The Europe-focused Mercedes-Benz unit also found Q2 to be challenging, with sales of 30,604 down 22% compared with 39,236 a year earlier.

In the first half of 2024, Daimler Truck sold 221,106 trucks and buses, down 13.9% compared with 257,060 units in the front half of 2023.

While no further North American sales breakdown or commentary was offered by the truck maker, DTNA’s ability to outperform its Daimler Truck siblings was not unexpected. During the parent company’s first-quarter earnings call May 3, CEO Martin Daum said North America offered a much brighter outlook than Europe or Asia, adding that orders were continuing to come in strong. The successful conclusion of union negotiations also cleared the road ahead for DTNA, he added.

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“We are fully prepared to go full steam throughout the entire year,” he said. “I’m really glad that we were able to settle with the [United Auto Workers union] without any strike, so we don’t have a loss on that side. I feel much more positive about the market.”

“When you look at the U.S., the highway business is certainly down compared with last year, and it is compensated by what we call the vocational business, and the medium-duty business,” he said.

Q1 order activity at DTNA jumped 31% year over year to 44,530 from 34,068.

The second quarter is expected to see similar results, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Nicolai Kempf.

“From a low base we think orders improve in North America, but will likely remain muted in Europe. We understand that unit sales in North America will sequentially improve driven by the vocational and medium duty segment,” Kempf said in a July 7 research note.

Daimler Truck expects to release full Q2 earnings on Aug. 1, it said.