Daimler Trucks sold 25% fewer units in the third quarter. But new orders doubled from the previous three months as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic eased.
Third-quarter unit sales fell to 99,000 vehicles versus 126,000 in the same period a year ago.
New truck orders were up 3% over the year-ago third quarter. They doubled from the April-June period when Daimler and other truck makers shuttered plants for six weeks.
Revenues decreased by 20% to €9.2 billion ($10.9 billion). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was €603 million ($714 million). Adjusted return on sales was at 6.5%.
“We’re coming from an extraordinary high level of sales in 2019,” Harald Wilhelm, a member of the Daimler AG Board of Management, said on a conference call with analysts Friday. “By the end of Q3, we were able to see some signs of normalization in the core markets in North America and Europe.”
Severe losses in the first half of the year gave way to market share gains in most markets. That was despite significantly lower sales in most regions compared to the third quarter of 2019.
“Strict cost control and progressive execution of restructuring activities resulted in a noticeable reduction of fixed costs as well,” Wilhelm said.
Daimler Trucks revealed significant products for its future that targets carbon neutrality in its major markets by 2039. A hydrogen-based fuel cell concept truck for the long-distance segment offers a range of up to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).
A battery-electric version of the eActros long haul will be ready for production in 2024. It will have an approximate range of 500 kilometers (311 miles) on one battery charge.
Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) introduced the Western Star 49X vocational truck, a product to take market share from off-highway leaders Peterbilt and Kenworth, both part of PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR). In Europe, Mercedes-Benz Trucks introduced the Turo with Active Brake Assist 5.