Business development

Unit sales. As previously forecast in the Annual Report 2012, the Daimler Group further increased its unit sales in 2013. Sales of 2.35 million vehicles were 7% higher than in 2012. This growth was driven by all the automotive divisions: Mercedes-Benz Cars (+8%), Daimler Trucks (+5%), Mercedes-Benz Vans (+7%) and Daimler Buses (+5%). Each of those divisions also fulfilled the forecasts made for it at the beginning of the year.

The Mercedes-Benz Cars division achieved another record for unit sales in the year under review, selling 1,565,600 vehicles (2012: 1,451,600). As a result of the attractive new models that we launched in 2013, growth accelerated as the year progressed. The Mercedes-Benz brand increased its unit sales by 9% to the new record of 1,467,400 vehicles. Mercedes-Benz was the most successful premium brand not only in Germany, but also in the United States and Japan. Furthermore, we improved our position in many other markets.

C.07 Unit sales Mercedes Benz Cars


In a volatile European market environment, Mercedes-Benz performed very well, gaining market share in nearly all major markets. In Western Europe, we surpassed the previous year’s unit sales by 3% and increased our share of the weak German market to 10.3% (2012: 10.1%). The development of unit sales was particularly pleasing in the United States, where we sold 308,900 vehicles - significantly more than ever before. We achieved considerable growth also in Japan (+22%), India (+27%) and Brazil (+34%). Our unit sales in China accelerated especially in the second half of 2013 (+15% in the full year).

Of the Mercedes-Benz model series, growth in unit sales was especially dynamic for the new compact cars. In 2013, 383,700 customers decided on a model of the A-, B- or CLA-Class, which is 66% more than in the previous year. Demand was very strong also for the models of the new E-Class, with the result that unit sales increased in the year of an extensive model upgrade by 6% to a total of 332,300 sedans, wagons, coupes and convertibles. With the SUV models of the M-/R-/GLK-/GL- and G-Class, unit sales increased to a new record of 323,300 vehicles (+9%). The C-Class models performed well in the year before the model change, with sales of 356,700 vehicles (-16%). The new S-Class, which we started delivering to the first customers in July 2013, had an extremely positive reception from customers and the trade press. Also in the year of the model changeover, the S-Class defended its position as the world’s best-selling luxury sedan. In total, we sold 71,400 cars in the S-Class segment in 2013 (2012: 80,700). (See graphic C.07)

The smart brand performed very well in the last full year of its product lifecycle, with sales of 98,200 smart fortwo cars (-7%). (See Mercedes-Benz Cars)

Daimler Trucks was able to slightly increase its unit sales in a market environment that differed greatly from region to region in 2013. In total, we shipped 484,200 heavy-, medium- and light-duty trucks as well as buses of the Thomas Built Buses and FUSO brands (2012: 462,000); we thus achieved the highest level of the past seven years and continue to be the biggest producer of trucks above 6 metric tons gross vehicle weight with a global reach. C.08 The key factors for this success were our extensive product offensive, our comprehensive range of modern Euro VI trucks and our global positioning. The markets behind the growth in unit sales were above all the countries of Latin America and to a lesser extent Western Europe, while our unit sales in the NAFTA region and in Asia were almost stable.

C.08 Unit sales Daimler Trucks


In Western Europe, a significant improvement in the demand situation became perceptible but not until the second half of the year. On the one hand, customers ordered Euro V vehicles before the stricter emission limits came into force in 2014; on the other hand, customers took advantage of the subsidies for Euro VI vehicles that were available in some countries. Daimler Trucks’ unit sales increased by 14% to 65,900 vehicles; we thus further extended our market leadership in Germany as well as in Western Europe overall. (See table C.09)

C.09

Market share1
  2013 2012 13/12

In %
  Change in
%-points
       
Mercedes-Benz Cars      
Western Europe 5.6 5.3 +0.3
thereof Germany 10.3 10.1 +0.2
United States 2.1 2.0 +0.1
China 1.3 1.4 -0.1
Japan 1.2 0.9 +0.3
       
Daimler Trucks      
Medium- and heavy-duty trucks Western Europe 24.1 22.9 +1.2
thereof Germany 39.7 39.2 +0.5
Heavy-duty trucks NAFTA region (Class 8) 36.0 32.9 +3.1
Medium-duty trucks NAFTA region (Classes 6 and 7) 43.1 36.9 +6.2
Medium- and heavy-duty trucks Brazil 24.7 25.5 -0.8
Trucks Japan 20.2 20.4 -0.2
       
Mercedes-Benz Vans      
Medium-sized and large vans Western Europe 17.8 18.1 -0.3
thereof Germany 26.2 26.7 -0.5
       
Daimler Buses      
Buses over 8 metric tons Western Europe 30.9 28.3 +2.6
thereof Germany 51.2 48.9 +2.3
Buses over 8 metric tons Latin America 41.6 42.7 -1.1
1 Based on estimates in certain markets.

In Latin America, we were able to increase our unit sales by 28% to 59,300 trucks in 2013. This was aided in particular by state financing incentives and catch-up effects in the region’s main market, Brazil. However, our market share there was lower than in the previous year due to intense competition.

With a slightly contracting market, we held our sales in the NAFTA region stable at 135,200 units (2012: 135,000). We therefore substantially increased our market share in the NAFTA region for medium- and heavy-duty trucks of Class 6 to 8 to 38.2%, thus underscoring our leading competitive position.

In the Asia region, the situation differed greatly in the various individual markets. Unit sales increased in Japan but decreased in Taiwan and Indonesia. Due to the weak economic development, demand for trucks in India was significantly lower than in 2012. Nonetheless, we were able to advance to fourth position in the segment for medium- and heavy-duty trucks with the new BharatBenz vehicles. Our total unit sales of 162,700 vehicles in Asia were close to the prior-year level.

Through Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co., Ltd. (BFDA), a joint venture with our Chinese partner Foton, we are represented in the Chinese truck market with locally produced vehicles. BFDA started production in mid-2012 and sold 103,300 trucks of the Auman brand in 2013, which are not included in the Daimler Group’s unit sales. (See Daimler Trucks)

Mercedes-Benz Vans increased its worldwide unit sales to 270,100 vans of the Sprinter, Vito, Viano, Vario and Citan models (2012: 252,400). In the core region of Western Europe, unit sales rose by 3% to 169,200 vans. Of the Citan city van, which we launched in the autumn of 2012, Mercedes-Benz Vans sold 17,700 units in Western Europe (2012: 6,400). Unit sales of medium-sized and large vans decreased by 4% to 151,500 units, primarily due to the continuation of the very difficult market situation in the countries of Southern Europe. In Germany, the domestic market, we sold 71,500 vans (2012: 71,000). Once again Mercedes-Benz Vans was successful in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia and Turkey: Unit sales in that region increased by 12% to 26,900 vehicles. The success story of the Sprinter continued in North and South America: While unit sales in the United States rose to 22,800 vehicles (2012: 21,500), an increase of 40% to 19,600 vehicles was achieved in Latin America. We achieved strong growth also in the Chinese market, selling 12,700 vans (+44%). In total, we sold 166,200 units of the Sprinter (+5%), 80,900 of the Vito and Viano (-3%) and 20,200 of the Citan. In addition we sold 2,900 units of the Vario, which has no longer been produced since September 2013. (See Mercedes-Benz Vans)

Daimler Buses sold 33,700 buses and chassis of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands worldwide in 2013. We thus increased unit sales by 5% and maintained the market leadership in our core markets in the segment for buses above 8 metric tons. In Western Europe, we strengthened our market position, especially for city buses and coaches, in a situation of only moderate growth in overall demand. Accordingly, our unit sales in the region increased by 15% to 6,700 buses (2012: 5,900); our market share improved significantly to 30.9% (2012: 28.3%). In Germany, our unit sales rose by 20% and our market share increased to 51.2% (2012: 48.9%). The new Citaro city bus was particularly successful in Germany. In Latin America, sales of bus chassis under the Mercedes-Benz brand were also significantly higher than in the previous year at 19,100 units (2012: 17,800), but growth in demand in Brazil was smaller than we had expected due to politically related market uncertainty. We defended our leading market position despite a slight decrease in market share to 41.6% (2012: 42.7%). In Mexico, we did not reach the prior-year level with sales of 3,000 units. In the United States, unit sales decreased as expected, as we had discontinued sales of Orion city buses in 2012. (See Daimler Buses)

The business of Daimler Financial Services developed positively once again and set new records in the year under review. As we had forecast in Annual Report 2012, worldwide contract volume continued to grow and reached €83.5 billion (+4%). Adjusted for exchange-rate effects, there was an increase of 11%. New business grew compared with the previous year by 6% to €40.5 billion. All regions contributed to this expansion. Also in 2013, Daimler Financial Services supported small and medium-sized enterprises as well as international corporations in numerous countries with the financing and management of their vehicles and fleets. There was a total of 357,000 contracts with commercial clients on the books at the end of 2013, representing growth of 9% compared with a year earlier. We expanded our business also in the field of insurance: The number of 1.27 million automotive policies was higher than ever before (+20%). We further expanded our business with innovative mobility services in 2013. The car2go mobility concept was established in 25 cities of Europe and North America by the end of the year. With a total of almost 600,000 customers, car2go was the market leader for flexible short-term car rentals. The “moovel” mobility platform, which intelligently links up various mobility services and shows customers the best way to get from A to B, started operating in the cities of Nuremberg and Munich and in the Rhine-Ruhr region in 2013. In November, the Park2gether pilot project went into operation in Berlin und Hamburg; this service brings owners of parking spaces together with persons seeking parking spaces through a special website. (See Daimler Financial Services)

Order situation. The Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Daimler Buses divisions produce vehicles predominantly to order in accordance with customers’ specifications. While doing so, we flexibly adjust the production numbers to changing levels of demand. Overall, the order situation of the Daimler Group developed very positively in 2013. Due to strong demand in the United States and various emerging markets, the number of orders placed with Mercedes-Benz Cars was once again significantly higher than the high prior-year level. This was driven on the product side primarily by the new models in the compact class, the continued strong success of the SUVs, and the new E-Class. Due to the stable demand, we also increased our production volumes. At the end of the year, the order backlog was significantly higher than a year before. The order situation improved compared with the previous year also at Daimler Trucks. This was primarily due to the renewal of the entire product range, but also to purchases being brought forward ahead of the new Euro VI emission limits that came into force in the European Union in 2014. The total number of orders received by Daimler Trucks was higher than in 2012 and the order backlog at year-end was also higher than a year before.

Revenue. The Daimler Group increased its total revenue in the year 2013 by 3% to €118.0 billion; adjusted for exchange-rate effects, there was an increase of 7%. This means that the positive business development of 2012 continued, as we had expected at the beginning of 2013. Revenue growth accelerated significantly in the second half of the year due to the market success of our new vehicle models. As we had forecast in Annual Report 2012, the divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars (+4%), Mercedes-Benz Vans (+3%), Daimler Buses (+4%) and Daimler Financial Services (+7%) increased their business volumes, in some cases by significant margins. However, the revenue of €31.5 billion (2012: €31.4 billion) posted by Daimler Trucks was not quite at the level we had anticipated. Exchange-rate effects played an important role in this respect, especially the significant depreciation of the Japanese yen against the euro.

In regional terms, Daimler achieved revenue growth in Western Europe (+4% to €41.1 billion) and in the NAFTA region (+3% to €32.9 billion). In Asia, our expectations were not quite fulfilled: The Daimler Group’s business volume in that region decreased by 3% to €24.5 billion as a result of the weak first half of the year and also due to exchange-rate effects.

C.10 Consolidated revenue by region

C.11

Revenue by division
  2013 2012 13/12
In millions of euros     % change
       
Daimler Group 117,982 114,297 +3
Mercedes-Benz Cars 64,307 61,660 +4
Daimler Trucks 31,473 31,389 +0
Mercedes-Benz Vans 9,369 9,070 +3
Daimler Buses 4,105 3,929 +4
Daimler Financial Services 14,522 13,550 +7