DTNA Q1 Sales Fall 5% Year-Over-Year as Demand Normalizes

Daum Says North American Sales ‘Solid’ as Q1 Global Sales Decrease 13%
Rizon truck
Rizon includes Class 4 and Class 5 battery-electric cabover trucks. (Daimler Truck)

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Daimler Truck North America sold 46,220 trucks and buses in the first three months of 2024, a 5% decrease compared with the first quarter of 2023’s total of 48,891.

Parent company Daimler Truck said April 9 it saw an expected market normalization across all truck and geographical segments, including in North America, home of DTNA’s Class 8 truck brands Freightliner and Western Star.

DTNA’s truck sales in 2024 are expected to be between 180,000 and 200,000 as a result of the normalization of demand, the parent company said March 1 when releasing its latest earnings.

Overall, Daimler Truck sold 108,911 trucks and buses worldwide in the first quarter of 2024, a 13% decrease that the original equipment manufacturer said was in line with the expected year-over-year normalization. Daimler Truck sold 125,172 trucks and buses in Q1 2023.

DTNA sales chart

 *Including eliminations due to transactions between segments. (Daimler Truck Holdings)

Daimler Truck anticipates global sales in 2024 in a range between 490,000 and 510,000, compared with 2023’s 526,053 vehicles.

Outside North America, Mercedes-Benz posted an 8% year-over-year decrease in sales to 31,885 in Q1 from 34,492.

Asian sales were hit even harder, with the company’s unit in the region seeing a 29% slump in sales in the most recent quarter to 28,457 from 40,210 a year earlier.

Bucking the trend, sales at Daimler Buses increased 1% to 5,604 units from 5,570 vehicles in the first three months of 2023.

Martin Daum


“The unit sales in Q1 2024 are reflecting the expected normalization of global truck markets and a weak environment in key markets in Asia,” Daimler Truck Chairman Martin Daum said.

“Unit sales in our core markets for heavy-duty trucks in Europe and North America are on a solid level completely as expected,” Daum said. “Daimler Buses is continuing its positive development and further increased its unit sales.”

Also, Daum said Daimler Truck’s sustainable transportation momentum was maintained.

Daimler Truck’s battery-electric vehicle sales jumped 183% to 813 units in the most recent quarter from 287 in Q1 2023.

In North America, that includes the company’s Rizon Class 4 and Class 5 battery-electric cabover trucks. Velocity EV said March 27 the United States’ first Rizon trucks had begun to be delivered to customers in California.

Velocity EV is the exclusive distributor for Rizon in the U.S. The Rizon brand was unveiled in late April 2023, with Daimler touting its dry van, reefer, flatbed and landscape dump truck possibilities.

Demand for those trucks and those produced by its sister brands Freightliner and Western Star is tempering following a multiyear spike because the COVID-19 pandemic, when supply chain problems left the market hungry for rolling stock truck and equipment makers could not deliver.

“Customers are now ordering the vehicles when they need them rather than reserving slots far in advance,” Daum said during a call following the release of the results.

“Reasons for the normalization include the persistent challenging economic conditions and the absence of catchup effects from pent-up demand that was exceptionally high during the previous two years,” the company’s top executive said.

“Nevertheless, we are satisfied with the current order intake. … For North America, we are almost sold out for the first half of the year,” Daum added.

However, demand has been skidding lower for a number of reporting periods.

DTNA sold 48,256 vehicles in the final quarter of 2023, 4% less than the 50,007 sold in the year-ago period. Of those Q4 sales, 39,055 were in the United States, down 8% compared with 42,457 a year earlier.

Freightliner and Western Star won a 36.9% share of the North American Class 8 market in the final quarter of 2023, compared with 38.9% a year earlier, according to the parent company.

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Overall, DTNA sold 193,236 vehicles in 2023, up 5% compared with 184,417 in 2022. Of those sales, 162,949 were in the United States, up 3% compared with 157,878 a year earlier.

In 2023, industrywide North American Class 8 sales rose 7% year-over-year to 331,423.

Globally, Daimler Truck sold 140,132 vehicles in the final three months of 2023, down 10% compared with 155,072 in the year-ago period. The company sold 526,053 vehicles in 2023, 1% more trucks and buses than 2022’s 520,291 units.