Daimler’s FUSO showcases all-electric eCanter at NTEA Work Truck Show in USA

  • FUSO showcased its all-electric light-duty truck eCanter at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show 2017, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  • The truck on display is an outlook on the small series to be launched and delivered to customers later this year in the US, Europe and Japan
  • FUSO will be the first OEM to launch a series model of all-electric light-duty trucks, making it the front-runner in electric trucks
  • Through customer trials in real-life conditions, the zero emission FUSO eCanter has proved to be technically reliable and economically viable with enough mileage and payload for daily use
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eCanter at NTEA Work Truck Show

Kawasaki, Japan – Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) showcased its all-electric, battery-powered light-duty truck eCanter at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
The eCanter is the answer to increasing noise and emission pollution in today’s urban environments, making inner-city delivery clean and silent. It can travel a range of more than 100km, exceeding the average distance that many short-radius distribution trucks usually travel per day – for example, in Japan, on an average, 80% of light-duty inner-city delivery trucks travel about 50km per day.

Through customer trials in real-life conditions, the zero emission FUSO eCanter proved to be technically reliable and economical, able to cover enough mileage and payload for daily use.

Jecka Glasman, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. said at the event; “We believe the eCanter will help us chart the future of light-duty trucking in urban environments. It delivers up to a 100 mile range, with zero emissions and zero noise pollution—what we call positive energy. We have had preliminary conversations with several customers and their interest and enthusiasm for the product are very encouraging.”

The displayed vehicle is an outlook on the small series of eCanter that was first shown at the 2016 International Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) – the biggest international commercial vehicle show in Hanover, Germany, where it attracted worldwide attention.

The small series of eCanter will be launched and delivered to customers from late 2017 in the US, Japan and Europe. This makes FUSO the first OEM to launch a series model of all-electric light-duty trucks that comes with full warranty and service through its extensive dealer network.

Being a frontrunner in the fully-electric truck segment, MFTBC has so far invested 40mn euros in the development of electric driving including research and development. The zero emission model will be manufactured at FUSO’s state-of-the art production plants in Tramagal, Portugal and Kawasaki, Japan.

FUSO at a Glance

FUSO is one of the brands of Daimler Trucks, present in nearly all regions around the world including; Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. FUSO’s light-duty to heavy-duty trucks (GVW 3.5–49 tons), vans, industrial engines, and buses are sold in more than 160 markets. The Fuso brand is based on four core brand values; Trusted Quality, Economic Efficiency, Solid & Functional Design, and Committed Services.

MFTBC at a Glance

Based in Kawasaki, Japan, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) is one of Asia’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. In 2015, the company sold a total of about 154,200 vehicles including light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses under the Fuso brand. 89.29% of its shares are owned by Daimler AG and10.71% by various Mitsubishi group companies. MFTBC is an integral part of the Daimler Trucks division of Daimler AG.

Press Release

Tata Motors launches AMT (automated manual transmission) equipped buses

pr-19-apr-17_big

  • Launches AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) technology in fully built Tata Motors buses, ranging from 9-12 meters and a seating capacity of 23 to 54 passengers, at a starting price of Rs. 21 lakhs (ex-showroom New-Delhi)
  • AMT power available in – Manual, Automatic, in Economy and Power Modes
  • Comes with features – Crawler Mode, Hill Hold and Kick down

Taking a step further in developing comfortable mass transportation solutions, Tata Motors today launched AMT technology (Automated Manual Transmission) in its Starbus and Ultra brand of buses, ranging from 12 m and 9m, priced at Rs. 21 lakhs (ex-showroom New Delhi) Developed especially for city applications with heavy traffic, Tata Motors BS 4 compliant AMT buses and are available in multiple variants, for diverse applications.
The Tata AMT buses come with Manual and Automatic with Economy and Power modes. In power mode, the Automatic Gear Detection (AGD) emphasizes sufficient engine torque capability, to maintain agility and drivability even in case of demanding duty cycles, while the economy mode ensures optimal fuel consumption.
The AMT technology of the bus coupled with a powerful new generation engine, automatically engages the vehicle’s clutch and shifts the gear. It also considers the driver’s operation, engine torque, vehicle load and road inclination, resulting in optimized gear shifting and hassle -free driving experience.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Ravi Pisharody, Executive Director – Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors said, “Tata Motors has always led the transformation in the Indian Commercial Vehicle Industry with the introduction of innovative new products and services and the launch of our range of AMT buses is yet another example of how best we understand our customers. Having developed the AMT technology for our buses with WABCO, we will continue to work with partners like them to develop and introduce products with best-in-class value proposition, delivering world-class solutions for the Indian customer.”
Dr. Ajit Kumar Jindal, Head Engineering, Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors said, “At Tata Motors, we constantly engage with our stakeholders to develop and integrate new and future-ready technologies for our broad spectrum of commercial vehicles, that enhances connectivity, safety and fuel economy. With rapid urbanization and environmental concerns, there is an increasing focus towards efficient public transportation. As the cities get congested, especially during peak hours, the average speed of the vehicle is drastically reduced with frequent start stop, causing delays, discomfort for passengers and drivers and more so cuts down on the fuel economy of the vehicle. The new AMT buses from Tata Motors will address these issues, also bringing down the TCO.”
Tata Motors is one of the country’s largest bus manufacturers, with the most complete range of transit vehicles that meets every need, arising from day-to-day travel. It has continued to be a leader in this segment not just by setting technological benchmarks, but by also adapting innovations effectively to suit Indian travel conditions.

•Releases driver from gearshift and clutch operations
•Increases driver comfort
•Optimized and automatically operated gearshifts
•Comes with Hill Start Aid function to provide to allow smooth take off without rollback
•Also comes equipped with Crawler mode

With a whole range of coach designs, e.g. microbus, intercity and touring coaches, luxurious inter-city travel options, to safe transport choices for school going children, Tata Motors is best suited to cater to customers’ needs with an entire gamut of day-to-day mass passenger transport solutions. The company continues to be a leader in this segment not just by setting technological benchmarks, but also by adapting innovations effectively to suit Indian travel conditions. The company continues to actively participate in the development and implementation of solutions for mass passenger transport in the key markets across the world.

About Tata Motors:
Tata Motors Limited is India’s largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of INR 2,75,561 crores (USD 41.6 billion) in 2015-16. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and Indonesia. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India.  With over 9 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country’s market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top in passenger vehicles. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, South America, Australia, CIS and Russia.
Press Release

The London Taxi Company to manufacture zero emissions LCV at its new facility

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•    Second vehicle from brand new facility to be a Light Commercial Van
•    Purpose built, range extended EV to meet global needs of the commercial sector
•    Advanced technology to help tackle urban pollution crisis
•    Targeting “last mile” delivery, distribution and maintenance sectors
•    Incremental additional investment of around £25m bringing the total investment by parent Geely to £325m

Following the official opening of the London Taxi Company’s brand new R&D and manufacturing facility in Ansty, the company is delighted to announce that the second vehicle to come off the line will be a dedicated, range extended electric light commercial van (LCV).

This all new, highly flexible, commercially competitive electric vehicle will help fleet owners lower their running costs, improve air quality and support cities in tackling the pollution crisis in urban areas.

Chris Gubbey, CEO of the London Taxi Company said: “This is going to be the future proofed ’white van’ that people have been waiting for. Designed solely for the urban commercial sector, dedicated to the people who keep our cities working, it will be clean, competitive and ready for cities of the future.” 

The air quality crisis in many urban environments has highlighted the scale of the opportunity and demand for zero emissions capable commercial vehicles in major cities across the world. Electrification is a key component of the global strategy to reduce emissions and the London Taxi Company is determined to apply its expertise in advanced electric vehicle technology, and the taxi market, to urban commercial vehicles.

Carl-Peter Forster, Chairman of the London Taxi Company said: “In addition to our brand-new taxi, the manufacturing of this all new light commercial van is a transformative step for the company as we will move from a single product, single market organization to a multi-product, multi market organization. We remain absolutely committed to designing and manufacturing dedicated, range extended EVs that build upon our deep knowledge of advanced technologies and the needs of the urban commercial sector.”

The London Taxi Company’s research and development team of around 200 people, now based in Ansty, has been working around the clock, building upon its new core EV platform architecture, to develop an outstanding LCV that is fit for the world’s cities in the 21st century. Its ground-breaking work in developing the all new taxi underpins the LCV strategy having been created on the same range extended EV technology platform. With this platform and manufacturing capability already in place, designed for flexible production from day one, the company can bring to market the new LCV through an incremental additional investment of around £30m taking the total investment from parent company Geely to £325 million.

The new vehicle will help to meet emissions targets in cities around the world, as well as being able to handle the toughest urban environments. Importantly for drivers, the vehicle will be city ready and lower running costs, even as electric charging infrastructure continues to develop.

Zhou Jianqan, the Head of Geely’s Commercial Vehicle Division, said: “I am extremely proud to see Geely’s investment in the London Taxi Company allow it to evolve beyond the taxi market. The light commercial van sector in cities across the globe holds enormous potential and urban leaders are embracing zero emissions at an incredibly rapid pace. This vehicle is a result of the new R&D team based at Ansty and will complement Geely’s global expertise in electric vehicle technology adding to the world class talent across the group.”

Unit sales of Volkswagen Truck & Bus with strong upward trend in first quarter of 2017

 

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  • Approx. 46,000 trucks and buses sold
  • 10% increase on same period of previous year
  • Renschler: “We had a good start to the new fiscal year. The positive unit sales development in Russia and South America in particular gives us reason for confidence.”

In the first three months of 2017 Volkswagen Truck & Bus sold around 46,000 trucks and buses of the MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus brands. All three brands improved their unit sales on the previous year – for the Group as a whole this amounts to a rise of 10%.

Unit sales at MAN Truck & Bus increased by 6% from the previous year to 20,170 vehicles. With 20,660 trucks and buses sold Scania recorded a 12% increase in sales. At Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus too sales rose; the 5,290 units sold by this brand represent 13% more than in the previous year.

Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus and the Volkswagen AG Board member responsible for commercial vehicles, said: “We have got off to a good start in the new fiscal year. The positive unit sales development in Russia and South America in particular gives us reason for confidence. After a long dry stretch Brazil is now slowly recovering and our patience is being rewarded with rising sales figures. As a Group too we are with our three strong brands growing closer together and steadily expanding our cooperation.”

In the first three months of 2017 the truck business developed positively: at 42,100 trucks the Volkswagen Truck & Bus brands sold approximately 9% more than in the first quarter of the previous year. In the Region EU28+2 (EU member countries, Norway and Switzerland) sales were, at 26,560 trucks, stable and on a par with the previous year’s figure. In South America the Group’s sales were up by 21%. Growth was achieved in particular in Argentina as a result of reforms introduced by the state. In Russia the incipient recovery of the economy and falling inflation rates led to considerable growth in sales. In the Asia-Pacific region the major contribution to the growth came from India, where the economic environment developed positively.

In the bus business too, the brands of Volkswagen Truck & Bus recorded improved sales: at 3,770 buses they exceeded the previous year’s figure by 16%.

MAN reports start of production of the TGE transporter and a major order for gas buses

Series production of the TGE started in the first quarter. With the TGE MAN is now for the first time offering a light commercial vehicle to customers in the logistics, courier service and craft trades sectors. Transporters are in increasing demand as a result of the growth in online trading which is expected to continue.

The commercial-vehicle manufacturer notched up an important success in Copenhagen, where in future 41 MAN Lion’s City GL CNG buses will be in service. This major order underlines MAN’s position as a leading provider of gas buses in Europe. The new buses, which have a capacity of up to 150 passengers each, will be deployed in the north of the Danish capital. Carrying 20 million passengers a year, the City Line in Copenhagen is one of the most highly frequented routes in Denmark.

Scania One launch and founding of Scania Growth Capital

In February 2017 Scania unveiled its new digital marketplace, Scania One, which addresses fleet operators and drivers with a number of connectivity services. With Scania One the drivers of 250,000 digitally connected Scania trucks can access the usual services but now also services from third-party providers. The goal is to enable users to achieve greater efficiency and thus higher profitability in operation of their fleets.

The founding of Scania Growth Capital marks a new departure for Scania. The aim here is to invest in innovative, fast-growing start-up companies and to make use of their business models and technologies. This access to new ideas with relevance for the industry is intended to help make Scania even more fit for the future.

Export success and investment at Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus

Despite the still difficult political and economic situation in Brazil, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus once again has three of the five best-selling trucks in its range. Also, compared to the first quarter 2017, deliveries from Brazil to other South American countries and Africa went up significantly. The international brewery group, Heineken, for example, ordered 150 trucks in Mexico, while the Mexican bus operator ADO placed an order for 154 buses with Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus.

Volkswagen Truck & Bus’s commitment to Brazil as a production location was underlined by the largest investment package in the company’s history. The Brazilian commercial-vehicle brand of Volkswagen Truck & Bus will be spending some 420 million euros over the next five years in order to renew its product portfolio, modernize the plant in Resende and develop connectivity services.

As Chairman of the Latin America Committee of German Industry, Andreas Renschler welcomes the economic recovery in Brazil and the region: “I am firmly convinced that after years of crisis the turnaround has set in. The trend is clearly upwards. Our truck sales in South America grew by 21% in the first quarter, which is well ahead of plan.”

Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG and a global leader in commercial vehicles with its brands MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and RIO. In 2016, the brands of Volkswagen Truck & Bus sold a total of 184,000 vehicles. Its product range includes light commercial vehicles, trucks and buses that are manufactured at 25 sites in 17 countries. As of December 31, 2016, the Company employed 77,000 people across its commercial vehicle brands worldwide. The Group is committed to driving transportation to the next level — in terms of products, services, and as a partner for its customers.

Mazda Production and Sales Results for March 2017 and for April 2016 through March 2017 (Flash Report)

Mazda Motor Corporation’s production and sales results for March 2017 and for April 2016 through March 2017 are summarized below.

 

I. Production

Breakdown March 2017 Apr 2016 – Mar 2017 Jan – Mar 2017
Units YoY
Change (%)
Units YoY
Change (%)
Units YoY
Change (%)
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION Passenger Vehicles 94,800 +7.8 954,501 -2.1 238,801 -5.2
Commercial Vehicles 944 -26.0 10,139 -28.7 2,644 +11.5
Total 95,744 +7.3 964,640 -2.5 241,445 -5.0
OVERSEAS PRODUCTION Passenger Vehicles 58,465 +22.3 590,024 +9.2 154,802 +12.5
Commercial Vehicles 4,164 +15.1 37,144 -10.5 11,001 +14.5
Total 62,629 +21.8 627,168 +7.8 165,803 +12.6
GLOBAL PRODUCTION Passenger Vehicles 153,265 +12.9 1,544,525 +1.9 393,603 +1.1
Commercial Vehicles 5,108 +4.4 47,283 -15.2 13,645 +13.9
Total 158,373 +12.6 1,591,808 +1.3 407,248 +1.4

Note 1): Overseas production figures indicate Mazda-brand units coming off the production line (excluding CKD units). However, non-Mazda-brand passenger vehicles produced at the Mexico plant are included.
Note 2): Global production figures are the sum total of domestic and overseas production volumes.

 

1. Domestic Production

(1) March 2017
Mazda’s domestic production volume in March 2017 increased 7.3% year on year due to increased production of passenger vehicles.

[Domestic production of key models in March 2017]
CX-5: 37,200 units (up 18.3% year on year)
Mazda3 (Axela): 19,927 units (up 8.9% year on year)
CX-3: 12,813 units (up 11.0% year on year)

(2) April 2016 through March 2017
Mazda’s total domestic production volume in the period from April 2016 through March 2017 decreased 2.5% year on year due to decreased production of passenger and commercial vehicles.

[Domestic production of key models in the period from April 2016 through March 2017]
CX-5: 324,085 units (up 0.8% year on year)
Mazda3 (Axela): 206,253 units (down 4.1% year on year)
Mazda6 (Atenza): 122,231 units (down 12.2% year on year)

 

2. Overseas Production

(1) March 2017
Mazda’s overseas production volume in March 2017 increased 21.8% year on year due to increased production of passenger and commercial vehicles.

[Overseas production of key models in March 2017]
Mazda3: 25,069 units (up 8.4% year on year)
Mazda2: 12,156 units (up 17.1% year on year)
CX-4: 8,047 units (up 80370.0% year on year)

(2) April 2016 through March 2017
Mazda’s total overseas production volume in the period from April 2016 through March 2017 increased 7.8% year on year due to increased production of passenger vehicles.

[Overseas production of key models in the period from April 2016 through March 2017]
Mazda3: 260,109 units (up 3.0% year on year)
Mazda2: 99,730 units (down 14.4% year on year)
CX-4: 60,001 units (up 599910.0% year on year)

 

II. Domestic sales

Breakdown March 2017 Apr 2016 – Mar 2017 Jan – Mar 2017
Units YoY
Change (%)
Units YoY
Change (%)
Units YoY
Change (%)
DOMESTIC SALES Passenger Vehicles 30,818 +31.1 178,449 -14.8 63,630 +0.8
Commercial Vehicles 2,974 +5.1 24,246 +5.8 6,585 +13.8
Registration Total 28,586 +34.9 164,403 -14.1 58,361 +3.9
Micro-mini Total 5,206 +1.2 38,292 -6.5 11,854 -6.7
Total 33,792 +28.3 202,695 -12.8 70,215 +1.9

 

(1) March 2017
Mazda’s domestic sales volume in March 2017 increased 28.3% year on year due to increased sales of passenger and commercial vehicles. Mazda’s registered vehicle market share was 6.2% (up 1.0 points year on year), with a 2.3% share of the micro-mini segment (up 0.1 points year on year) and a 4.9% total market share (up 0.8 points year on year).

[Domestic sales of key models in March 2017]
CX-5: 9,668 units (up 223.3% year on year)
Mazda2 (Demio): 7,081 units (down 6.8% year on year)
Mazda3 (Axela): 4,108 units (up 33.0% year on year)

 

(2) April 2016 through March 2017
Mazda’s total domestic sales volume in the period from April 2016 through March 2017 decreased 12.8% year on year due to decreased sales of passenger vehicles. Mazda’s registered vehicle market share was 4.9% (down 1.2 points year on year), with a 2.2% share of the micro-mini segment (down 0.1 points year on year) and a 4.0% total market share (down 0.7 points year on year).

[Domestic sales of key models in the period from April 2016 through March 2017]
Mazda2 (Demio): 53,318 units (down 19.4% year on year)
Mazda3 (Axela): 28,745 units (up 22.4% year on year)
CX-5: 27,167 units (up 2.3% year on year)

 

III. Exports

Breakdown March 2017 Apr 2016 – Mar 2017 Jan – Mar 2017
Units YoY
Change (%)
Units YoY
Change (%)
Units YoY
Change (%)
EXPORTS Passenger Vehicles 74,742 +22.4 808,124 +2.7 181,917 -4.5
North America 27,496 -1.8 301,649 -3.6 56,509 -33.2
Europe 21,707 +73.3 209,490 +4.5 48,320 +13.1
Oceania 4,755 -11.1 82,256 -9.8 18,787 -6.6
Others 20,784 +36.9 214,729 +17.6 58,301 +35.2
Total 74,742 +22.4 808,124 +2.7 181,917 -4.5

 

(1) March 2017
Mazda’s export volume in March 2017 increased 22.4% year on year due to increased shipments to Europe and other regions.

[Exports of key models in March 2017]
CX-5: 27,716 units (up 8.7% year on year)
Mazda3: 15,974 units (up 4.1% year on year)
CX-3: 13,979 units (up 115.9% year on year)

 

(2) April 2016 through March 2017
Mazda’s total export volume in the period April 2016 through March 2017 increased 2.7% year on year due to increased shipments to Europe and other regions.

[Exports of key models in the period April 2016 through March 2017]
CX-5: 298,830 units (up 1.6% year on year)
Mazda3: 176,494 units (down 7.9% year on year)
Mazda6: 114,455 units (down 10.9% year on year)

Have you ever wondered what is ‘Drive-by-wire’ or ‘x-by-wire’?

We come across the terms like drive-by-wire, steer-by-wire, throttle-by-wire, 0r x-by-wire, but how many of you have ever wondered what is this x-by-wire technology? Today, let’s see what it actually is.

Drive by wire, Steer-by-wire, or x-by-wire technology in the automotive industry is the use of electrical or electro-mechanical systems for performing vehicle functions traditionally achieved by mechanical linkages. This technology replaces the traditional mechanical control systems with electronic control systems using electro-mechanical actuators and human-machine interfaces such as pedal and steering feel emulators. Components such as the [steering column], intermediate shafts, pumps, hoses, belts, coolers and vacuum servos(components used in cars to assist drivers by decreasing the braking force required) and master cylinders are eliminated from the vehicle. This is similar to the fly-by-wire systems used widely in the aviation industry.

What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with this technology?

Advantages: 

  • Reduces the vehicle’s weight as electromechanical components are much lighter compared to mechanical linkages.

steer-by-wire

  • Vehicle design freedom is increased as the electromechanical components occupy less place compared to the mechanical counterparts. And also, the number of options to place x-by-wire components(though not all) inside the vehicle is more than that of mechanical  components. For example, in a traditional steering mechanism the steering column’s position is fixed and it can be cannot be changed where as in steer-by-wire system the control modules can be placed wherever the design permits. This adds to design freedom
  • Safety can be improved by providing computer controlled intervention of vehicle controls with systems such as electronic stability control (ESC), adaptive cruise control and Lane Assist Systems.
  • Improved ergonomics due to flexibility of location of controls.

Disadvantages:

  • Drive by wire systems can be hacked, and their control faulted or shut off, by either wired or wireless connections.
  • Increased complexity.

Uses in automobiles:

Throttle by wire: This system helps accomplish vehicle propulsion by means of an electronic throttle without any cables from the accelerator pedal to the throttle valve of the engine. In electric vehicles, this system controls the electric motors by sensing the accelerator pedal input and sending commands to the power inverter modules.

Brake by wire: A pure brake by wire system eliminates the need for hydraulics completely by using motors to actuate calipers and lock the wheels in comparison to the currently existing technology where the system is designed to provide braking effort by building hydraulic pressure in the brake lines.

Shift by wire: The direction of motion of the vehicle (Forward, Reverse) is set by commanding the actuators inside the transmission through electronic commands based on the current input from the driver (Park, Reverse, Neutral or Drive).

Steer by wire: This kind of system will provide steering control of a car with fewer mechanical components/linkages between the steering wheel and the wheels. The control of the wheels’ direction will be established through electric motor(s) which are actuated by electronic control units monitoring the steering wheel inputs from the driver. Such a system is illegal in most jurisdictions for passenger or commercial vehicles. The first production vehicle to implement this was the Infiniti Q50. This is not to be confused with Electric Power Steering. Electric Power Steering can be considered as a stage of evolution from mechanical steering to steer by wire systems.

Groupe Renault has acquired PVI, a specialist in the electrification of Light Commercial Vehicles

• With the acquisition of PVI, which specialises in the conversion of commercial vehicles to natural gas or electricity, Renault will be able to step up the implementation of new technologies, especially in the field of electric LCV conversions
• This acquisition is in line with the Group’s LCV growth strategy

Boulogne-Billancourt, February 6th, 2017 – Groupe Renault today announced the acquisition of French company PVI, short for Power Vehicle Innovation, with a view to accelerating the growth of its Light Commercial Vehicle business.

The assets of PVI, which boasts recognised expertise in the design and conversion of commercial vehicles running on natural gas or electricity, complement those of Renault. PVI’s expertise and small-scale, flexible production facility will benefit Renault, while Renault will provide economies of scale for the purchasing of components as well as a significant technology portfolio.

“We are very pleased to welcome PVI’s team specialising in electric conversions to Groupe Renault,” says Ashwani Gupta, SVP, LCV Division. “This acquisition is part of the Group’s strategy to develop its business by proposing a complete range of electric LCVs coupled with connected services. As the number one European manufacturer of electric LCVs, this is a unique opportunity for our teams to work on the next generation of this type of car. Together we will continue to innovate to ensure increasing proximity with our business customers while addressing their every need.”

PVI has previously worked with Groupe Renault on the development and electrification of the upcoming Renault Master Z.E. This large van, which was unveiled at the Brussels Motor Show on January 13, 2017 and which is due to be launched before the end of 2017, will extend the Group’s existing range of electric LCVs. The catalogue currently features four products and is unmatched anywhere in the world.

2017 BRUSSELS MOTOR SHOW: RENAULT CONTINUES MOMENTUM IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES WITH MASTER ZE AND NEW KANGOO ZE

Through its Renault Pro+ brand, Renault is unveiling an extended custom offering in its zero-emission range at the Brussels Motor Show, with world première appearances for Master ZE and New Kangoo ZE. With these new arrivals, Renault fields a unique line-up of four electric light commercial vehicles……read more

This acquisition also includes Escal, a subsidiary in which PVI has a 95 percent stake. Escal specialises in the distribution, installation and maintenance of security systems for lifting vehicles. Escal itself manages PVI’s service, maintenance and mechanical integration activities. Both PVI and Escal, with a combined workforce of 93 employees, are attached to the Groupe Renault’s LCV Division.
About Groupe Renault

Groupe Renault has been making cars since 1898. Today it is an international multi-brand group, selling more than 2.8 million vehicles in 125 countries in 2015, with 36 manufacturing sites, 12,000 sales outlets and employing more than 120,000 people. To meet the major technological challenges of the future and continue its strategy of profitable growth, the Group is harnessing its international growth and the complementary fit of its three brands, Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors, together with electric vehicles and the unique Alliance with Nissan. With a new team in Formula 1 and a strong commitment to Formula E, Renault sees motorsport as a vector of innovation and brand awareness.

About Power Vehicle Innovation (PVI)

Power Vehicle Innovation or PVI is a French truck and bus manufacturer, based in Gretz-Armainvilliers near Paris, France, specialized in electric powertrains. PVI is a former subsidiary of Ponticelli Frères. Its current stockholders are the Marcel Dassault Industrial Group, the financial institution Centuria Capital and a business management holding company (Sovibus). PVI has been the first company in France to market Electric buses, like the Oréos 55E, which is used by the RATP on a touristic bus line in Paris, the Montmartrobus. More than half of the French electric buses in circulation in 2003 have been distributed by PVI.

Source: Groupe Renault press release

Daimler stays in the fast lane: Best-ever figures for unit sales, revenue and earnings in 2016 – dividend of €3.25 proposed – ongoing positive outlook

daimler-stays-in-the-fast-lane-best-ever-figures-for-unit-sa

  • Record unit sales with around 3 million vehicles sold for the first time (+5%)
  • Group revenue up by 3% to €153.3 billion (2015: 149.5 billion)
  • Group EBIT of €12.9 billion at prior-year level (2015: €13.2 billion)
  • Slight increase in Group EBIT adjusted for special items to €14.2 billion (2015: €13.8 billion)
  • Net profit at highest level with €8.8 billion (2015: €8.7 billion)
  • Attractive dividend of €3.25 per share proposed (2015: €3.25)
  • Outlook for 2017: slight growth in unit sales, revenue and EBIT

Stuttgart, Germany – Daimler AG (ticker symbol DAI) grew profitably once again in 2016 and achieved best-ever figures for unit sales, revenue and net profit. In the year 2017, due to the very attractive and competitive product range in all divisions, Daimler expects to profit from slight growth in global demand for motor vehicles and from its strengthened market position, and to further increase its unit sales in total. Accordingly, further growth in revenue and EBIT is also anticipated.

“In 2016, Daimler has set new records for unit sales, revenue and earnings. But what is just as important is that in the best year in our company’s history so far, we also initiated the biggest-ever transformation at Daimler,” stated Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars at the Annual Press Conference in Stuttgart. “We have set our course in the direction of electric mobility and are establishing a new culture of cooperation together with our workforce. Those who wish to shape the future of the automobile at the forefront of the automotive industry need both financial strength and innovative skill. In 2016, we demonstrated that the combination of these two factors at Daimler is stronger now than ever before.”

The Daimler Group posted EBIT of €12.9 billion in 2016 (2015: €13.2 billion). Due to favorable business developments in most of its divisions, Daimler slightly improved on its EBIT adjusted for special items – from €13.8 billion in 2015 to €14.2 billion in the year 2016 – thus setting a new record. Net profit increased to the best-ever figure of €8.8 billion (2015: €8.7 billion) and earnings per share rose to €7.97 (2015: €7.87).

Daimler increased its total unit sales in the year 2016 by 5 % to around 3 million vehicles, thus achieving its growth target. The Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans divisions confirmed the forecasts made at the beginning of the year with significant growth (+10% and +12% respectively). Daimler Trucks posted a significant decrease in unit sales of 17%, due in particular to the weaker market development in the NAFTA region, the Middle East and Turkey. Unit sales at Daimler Buses were significantly lower than in the previous year (-7%) and did not reach the originally expected magnitude. This was primarily the result of the significant market contraction in Brazil. Daimler achieved slight revenue growth of 3% to €153.3 billion in 2016 (2015: €149.5 billion); adjusted for exchange-rate effects, revenue also grew by 3%.

“We once again posted record numbers at Daimler in 2016. With our very attractive products and the measures taken to enhance efficiency, we have made considerable progress and stabilized our business despite volatile market developments,” said Bodo Uebber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Finance & Controlling and Daimler Financial Services. “In the automotive business, we met our targets for return on sales once again last year. And we are confident that we will be able to improve on these record results once again in 2017.”

At the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on March 29, 2017, the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board will propose the distribution of a dividend of €3.25 per share (2015: €3.25). “We continue to invest in our future and offer our shareholders an attractive dividend as usual. This is also an expression of our confidence,” continued Uebber. The dividend payout will amount to €3,477 million, as in the previous year, and the distribution ratio will be 40.8% (previous year: 41.3%) of the net profit attributable to the Daimler shareholders.

Compared with December 31, 2015, the net liquidity of the industrial business increased from €18.6 billion to €19.7 billion, and was thus at an appropriate level. The increase was mainly due to the positive free cash flow of €3.9 billion. An additional factor was the cash inflow in connection with equity transactions at Daimler Financial Services (€0.7 billion). There was an opposing effect from the dividend payout of €3.5 billion to the shareholders of Daimler AG.

The Group’s financial strength is also reflected by the upgrade of its credit ratings by Standard & Poor’s. The rating agency raised its long-term rating for Daimler from A- to A and its short-term rating from A-2 to A-1.

Slight decrease in workforce – high profit sharing bonus

At December 31, 2016, the Daimler Group had a total of 282,488 employees (2015: 284,015). The number of employees remained nearly stable despite an overall increase in production. The main reason for the slight decrease was a workforce reduction at Daimler Trucks due to weak demand in major markets. The number of 170,034 people employed in Germany remained at the prior-year level (2015: 170,454). At the end of 2016, the Daimler Group had 7,960 apprentices and trainees worldwide (2015: 8,307); in Germany, 1,883 young people started their vocational training at Daimler in 2016 (2015: 1,871).

Daimler is permanently working on further enhancing its high attractiveness as an employer – within the Group and with external applicants. Employees can take advantage of mobile work, are supported with reconciling professional and family life, and receive competitive remuneration and additional benefits in conformance with the market, such as a company pension for example. The Group also lets its employees participate in its business success. In April 2017, Daimler AG will pay its eligible employees an amount of up to €5,400 for the year 2016 (prior year: €5,650).

Details of the divisions

The Mercedes-Benz Cars division comprises the Mercedes-Benz brand with the sub-brands Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes me, as well as the smart brand and the new EQ brand for electric mobility. In 2016, the division continued its profitable growth. Unit sales increased by 10% to the new record of 2,198,000 vehicles and revenue rose by 7% to €89.3 billion. The car division gained market share in almost all regions. EBITof €8,112 million for the year 2016 was slightly higher than the prior-year figure of €7,926 million and was at its highest level to date. Return on sales was 9.1% (2015: 9.5%). Adjusted for special items, return on sales met the target of 10%, as in the previous year.

This positive development primarily reflects the increased unit sales of new vehicles. The main driver was the SUV segment. Another positive effect on EBIT resulted from a better pricing. Negative effects resulted from expenses for advance expenditure for new technologies and vehicles. EBIT also includes expenses of €480 million in connection with Takata airbags. Further expenses of €238 million were recognized from the remeasurement of inventories.

Daimler Trucks’ unit sales of 415,100 vehicles were substantially lower than the high prior-year figure (2015: 502,500). Revenue decreased to €33.2 billion (2015: €37.6 billion). The division’s EBIT of €1,948 million was significantly below the high level of €2,576 million achieved in the previous year. Return on sales was 5.9% (2015: 6.9%).

The negative development of earnings was primarily the result of sharply decreased unit sales in the NAFTA region, Turkey, the Middle East, Latin America and Indonesia. Earnings were also reduced by intense competition in Europe. The realization of efficiency and material-cost improvements and exchange-rate effects had a positive impact on earnings. EBIT also includes expenses of €91 million for workforce adjustments in the context of the ongoing optimization programs in Brazil.

Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved another sales record in 2016. The number of 359,100 units sold was 12% higher than in 2015. Revenue of €12.8 billion was also significantly higher than in the previous year (2015: €11.5 billion). EBIT of €1,170 million set a new record level (2015: €880 million). The division’s return on sales also increased significantly compared with the previous year to 9.1%, and was thus at the targeted level (2015: 7.7%).

EBIT reflects the very positive development of unit sales, especially in Europe, the NAFTA region and China, as well as efficiency improvements. On the other hand, expenses arose from advance expenditure for new technologies and vehicles. Expenses of €83 million resulted in connection with Takata airbags.

Daimler Buses sold 26,200 buses and bus chassis worldwide in financial year 2016 (2015: 28,100). This significant decrease in unit sales was largely due to the ongoing poor economic situation in Brazil. Nevertheless, the division was able to maintain its clear leading position in its traditional core markets, i.e. the EU30 region (EU, Switzerland, Norway), Brazil, Turkey, Argentina and Mexico. Sales of complete buses in the EU30 region were once again higher than in the previous year. Revenue of the Daimler Buses division increased slightly to €4.2 billion (+2%). EBIT of €249 million was significantly higher than the already high prior-year level (2015: €214 million).Return on sales rose significantly to 6.0% (2015: 5.2%), thus reaching the targeted level.

The strong business with complete buses in the EU30 region, a good product mix and positive exchange-rate effects more than offset the negative effects of weak demand for bus chassis due to the ongoing difficult economic situation in Latin America and lower unit sales in Turkey.

In the automotive divisions, the restructuring of Daimler’s own dealership network led to expenses of €58 million (2015: €144 million).

During the year under review, Daimler Financial Services concluded  1.6 million new financing and leasing contracts worth a total of €61.8 billion. The total value of all new contracts rose by 7% compared with the previous year. Sales and leasing activities at Daimler Financial Services supported approximately half of all new-vehicle sales by the automotive divisions once again in 2016. More than 4.3 million financed or leased vehicles were on the books at the end of 2016; this corresponds to a 14% increase in contract volume to €132.6 billion. The acquisition of Athlon Car Lease International accounted for €3.7 billion of the increase in contract volume. Adjusted for Athlon and exchange-rate effects, the increase amounted to 10%. The division achieved EBIT of €1,739 million (2015: €1,619 million), the best EBIT so far. Return on equity was 17.4% (2015: 18.3%).

The main reason for this positive development was the growth in contract volume. Exchange-rate effects had a negative impact on earnings, however.

The reconciliation of the divisions’ EBIT to Group EBIT comprises gains and/or losses at the corporate level and the effects on earnings of eliminating intra-group transactions between the divisions. Items at the corporate level resulted in an overall expense of €333 million (2015: €79 million). This includes expenses of €400 million related to legal proceedings, the impairment of Daimler’s investment in BAIC Motor of €244 million and losses from currency transactions of €241 million. The gain of €605 million recognized on the contribution of the Renault and Nissan shares into the German pension-plan assets did not offset those expenses. The elimination of intra-group transactions resulted in income of €17 million in 2016 (2015: €50 million).

The special items affecting earnings in the years 2016 and 2015 are listed in the table on page 14.

Further increase in investment in the future

“Also in the coming years, we want to actively shape mobility with groundbreaking innovations, and in parallel we will push forward with digitization throughout the Group,” stated Dieter Zetsche. Daimler intends to play a leading role above all in the strategic areas for the future of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use and services (Shared & Services) and electric drive (Electric), as well as in the intelligent linking up of these areas.

For the reasons stated above, research and development expenditure was increased in 2016 from a very high level by another 15% to €7.6 billion. The focus was on new vehicle models, fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly drive systems, new safety technologies, autonomous driving and the digital connectivity of the products.

In order to implement the growth strategy with new products, innovative technologies and modern production facilities, investment in property, plant and equipment was also increased once again in 2016, from an already high level to €5.9 billion (2015: €5.1 billion).

At Mercedes-Benz Cars, investment in property, plant and equipment of €4.1 billion in 2016 was significantly above the prior-year level (2015: €3.6 billion). The most important projects included the product ramp-up of the new E-Class models, preparations for the new GLE SUV and the successor models in the compact class, as well as new combustion engines and transmissions. The division also made substantial investments in the reorganization of the German production facilities as competence centers and in the expansion of the international production network.

The main areas of investment at Daimler Trucks in 2016 were successor generations for existing products, new products, global component projects and the optimization of the worldwide production network. Total investment in property, plant and equipment at Daimler Trucks increased to €1.2 billion (2015: €1.1 billion).

At the Mercedes-Benz Vans division, the focus of investment was on the next-generation Sprinter, in particular for the expansion of production in the United States. The main investments at Daimler Buses were in new products and the modernization of production facilities.

Daimler Financial Services acquired Athlon Car Lease International B.V. in 2016, thus making a strategic investment in the fleet-management business. Athlon is one of Europe’s leading providers of mobility solutions, especially for commercial fleet leasing and management. The entire fleet-management business is to be operated under the Athlon brand in the future. This will create one of the leading providers in the field of European fleet management with a portfolio of more than 360,000 cars and vans.

Outlook: slight improvement expected in the world economy

At the beginning of 2017, the world economy is continuing along a path of steady, if rather moderate, growth. Daimler assumes that growth will accelerate slightly as the year progresses. For the full year, the advanced economies are likely to achieve growth rates similar to those of 2016. The emerging markets, however, should experience a slight revival after six years of economic weakness. Overall, there are some indications that the world economy will perform somewhat better in 2017 than the weak growth of the previous year, but will probably not exceed the rather below-average growth corridor of 2.5 to 3%.

Outlook: automotive markets to expand again in 2017

Worldwide demand for cars is likely to increase again from a high level in 2017. According to current estimates,slight growth in the magnitude of 1 to 2% is to be expected. One of the factors decisive for global economic dynamism will be the extent to which market growth weakens in China, after the tax incentives for cars with small engines have been reduced. Despite the dynamic market development in 2016, the Chinese market should expand again slightly in 2017.

The US market for cars and light trucks should this year maintain its exceptionally high level of more than 17 million units sold. Possible fiscal-policy stimulus from the new US government could have an additional positive impact on demand. In Europe, a slightly larger market is expected overall. In Western Europe, it must be assumed that the number of cars sold will be only around the level of 2016, following the rather lively recovery of recent years. In key markets such as Germany and France, slight growth is to be anticipated at best, and a market correction is likely in the United Kingdom. After the drastic contraction of recent years, the Russian car market should recover in 2017. Following two years of falling demand, a stabilization of car sales is expected in Japan this year. In India, the dynamic growth of recent years is likely to continue with another significant increase in demand.

Demand for medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the regions relevant for Daimler is likely to remain at the rather weak prior-year level. In the NAFTA region, the cyclical market correction can be expected to continue. In weight classes 6-8, it must be assumed that demand will decrease by approximately 5% after the significant drop in 2016. In the heavy-duty segment (class 8), the weakening of demand is likely to be rather more pronounced.

The market of the EU30 region temporarily peaked last year, according to current assessments. In a rather more restrained economic environment than last year, truck sales are expected to decrease slightly. After the end of the deep economic recession in Brazil, only a slight recovery of the truck market from a very low level can be expected there. And after last year’s dramatic slump in Turkey, a further slight decrease is anticipated. Starting from a very low level, significant recovery of demand is to be expected in Russia.

The most important Asian markets from Daimler’s perspective are likely to present a mixed picture in 2017. As the Japanese market for light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks has remained at a relatively solid level for several years, a market correction of about 5% is now expected. Following the significant drops in demand of recent years in Indonesia, the overall truck market there is expected to be in the magnitude of 2016. Slight market expansion is anticipated for India. The planned reform of value-added tax, which would significantly reduce truck prices, could have a positive impact on demand during the year. The Chinese market should remain fairly stable, following its strong growth of 2016.

Daimler expects a slight increase in demand for small, mid-size and large vans in the EU30 region in 2017, driven in particular by the German van market, but also by other major European markets. In the United States, demand for large vans is likely to remain fairly stable. On the other hand, the market for mid-size and large vans in Latin America should revive significantly in 2017, although from a very low level. In China, a revival of demand is anticipated in the market Daimler addresses there.

Daimler expects slight growth in the market for buses in the EU30 region compared with 2016. The market development in Latin America continues to be negatively impacted by the current economic situation in Argentina and Brazil. After the significant drop in demand of recent years, it is assumed that the market bottomed out in 2016. Daimler anticipates a significant recovery in the year 2017, especially in Brazil, but the market volume will continue to be at a very low level.

Outlook: further growth in unit sales in the automotive business

Mercedes-Benz Cars will continue its »Mercedes-Benz 2020« strategy in 2017. Overall, the division intends to slightly increase its unit sales, thus reaching a new record level. Further growth is anticipated above all in China and Europe. This is based on the attractive and young model portfolio, which is more diverse than ever before. The new E-Class models in particular should provide growth impetus. Both the sedan and the wagon versions will be available for the first time over a full year. They will be followed by the new E-Class coupe this spring and by the E-Class convertible in the summer. In addition, a new and particularly versatile variant of the E-Class will be launched with the All-Terrain. Mercedes-Benz Cars is well positioned also with its SUVs and the new sports cars that were launched in 2016. Furthermore, it will enhance the attractiveness of its product portfolio with various model upgrades, such as the compact cars. In particular with the new S-Class, it will strengthen its leading position in the field of automated driving and connectivity. The division will push forward with its »Best Customer Experience« sales and marketing strategy. For example, the range of services offered by »Mercedes me connect« will be gradually expanded and rolled out in 20 additional markets. Furthermore, the attractiveness of theMercedes-Benz brand will be enhanced with increasing digitization in retailing and with additional service functions.

In the coming years, the cars division will focus its product portfolio even more closely on future requirements. The acronym CASE stands for Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services and Electric: These four future-oriented strategic areas will define the mobility of the future. The main challenge consists of intelligently linking up those four areas. The division is actively tackling this challenge by promoting the related activities through an organizationally independent unit. Daimler, and in particular Mercedes-Benz Cars, plays a leading role in all four areas already today. The »Concept EQ« study that had its world premiere in Paris last year provides a clear outlook on a completely new generation of vehicles from Mercedes‑Benz. It shows the possibilities that will be offered for customers by closely linking up the CASE areas. The study is also the starting signal for the new EQ brand, which will bring together all the key elements for customer-oriented electric mobility. In line with the intelligent linking up of the CASE areas, the new brand covers a broad spectrum: It ranges from electric vehicles to wall boxes, charging services, home energy storage and sustainable recycling solutions. By 2025, Daimler plans to launch more than ten purely electric cars – in all segments – from the smart to the large SUVs.

The new electric smart (electricity consumption combined: 13.1 – 12.9 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km), which can be experienced as of spring 2017 not only as a fortwo, but for the first time also as a forfour, is a key element of the electric offensive. Additional growth opportunities are presented by the »ready to« services, which were launched in 2016 and are successively being expanded this year. They expand the range of use of a vehicle – especially in the city – for example with parcel delivery into the car’s trunk (»smart ready to drop«), thus creating significant added value for the customer.

Daimler Trucks anticipates total unit sales in the year 2017 in the magnitude of the previous year. In the three major regions, Europe, North America and Japan, the division anticipates a stable level of unit sales overall, supported by a strong second half of the year. After last year’s significant market correction in the segment for heavy-duty trucks in the NAFTA region, unit sales in 2017 should be at the prior-year level. This development will be driven also by the new Freightliner Cascadia, the flagship in the North American market, which went into production at the beginning of 2017. The division assumes that it will strengthen its already strong market position once again in 2017. In a slightly declining market environment in the EU30 region, unit sales are anticipated in the volume of the previous year. Sales of trucks in Japan should also be at the prior-year level. In Brazil, it is expected that along with a gradual market recovery, unit sales should also be above the very low prior-year level. Also in India, Daimler Trucks anticipates unit sales higher than in 2016.

Mercedes-Benz Vans plans to achieve slight growth in unit sales in 2017. The division anticipates slight increases in sales of vans also in the EU30 region. In the context of the strategy for the division, »Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global«, the V-Class multipurpose vehicle and the Vito were launched in 2016 also in China, the world’s biggest market for motor vehicles. These vehicles will additionally boost demand there in 2017. The van division aims to achieve further growth also with the Sprinter, which will be produced also in North America in the future. And in late-2017, it will enter the midsize-pickup segment with the X-Class, thus further increasing its worldwide unit sales in the long term.

Daimler Buses assumes that it will be able to defend its market leadership in its traditional core markets for buses above 8 tons with innovative, future-oriented and high-quality products. Total unit sales in 2017 are expected to be significantly above the prior-year level. The bus division assumes that unit sales in the EU30 region will increase moderately. In Brazil, significant growth in unit sales on a further on very low level is anticipated after the substantial decrease in 2016. A continuation of the positive development of unit sales is expected in Mexico.

Daimler Financial Services aims to achieve ongoing growth in the coming years. In the year 2017, the division expects a slight increase in new business and further growth in contract volume. This will be primarily driven by the growth of the automotive divisions, especially Mercedes-Benz Cars. In addition, Daimler Financial Service is utilizing new market potential above all in Asia, and is making use of new and digital possibilities for customer contacts – in particular through the further development of online sales channels. The division sees good growth opportunities also with innovative mobility services, where it is active with the brands car2go, moovel and mytaxi, as well as with equity interests in the companies Blacklane and FlixBus.

Outlook: growth expected for unit sales, revenue and EBIT

“We want to increase our total unit sales in the automotive divisions in total. And our financial and mobility services also target further growth,” summarized Dieter Zetsche the outlook for this year. “We are on a path of stable growth, along which we will systematically continue.”

On the basis of the assumptions concerning the development of major automotive markets and the divisions’ planning, Daimler assumes that total unit sales can be slightly increased in the year 2017. Daimler also expects Group revenue to increase slightly this year. This is a reflection of the overall positive development of unit sales in the automotive divisions.

The divisions currently have very attractive and particularly competitive product ranges, which have been expanded and systematically renewed in recent years. Daimler therefore assumes that it will profit to an above-average extent from the slight growth in global demand for motor vehicles that is expected also in the year 2017, and will be able to strengthen its position in important markets. At Mercedes-Benz Cars, additional growth this year will be driven above all by the new E-Class models, the successful SUVs and the new convertible models. The other automotive divisions are also well positioned with their products, and Daimler Financial Services’ new business will profit from further growth in unit sales.

Against this backdrop, Daimler expects revenue growth for Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services. Revenue at Daimler Trucks in 2017 should be in the magnitude of the previous year. Unlike the slight growth in unit sales expected at Mercedes-Benz Vans, the division’s revenue is likely to be at the prior-year level, as contract manufacturing of vans was discontinued in the fourth quarter of 2016.

In regional terms, the highest growth rates are expected in Asia and Europe, but business volumes should expand also in the other regions. In particular in China, Daimler has created the right conditions for further growth with new sales outlets, additional production capacities and a broader product range. But the growth in unit sales in China will have a disproportionately low impact on revenue growth, as the share of local production will continue to increase. The Chinese associated company Beijing Benz Automotive China (BBAC) is included in the consolidated financial statements using the equity method of accounting.

The anticipated growth in unit sales and revenue will have a positive impact on earnings in 2017. The foundations have been laid for a lasting high level of earnings with various programs for improved profitability, which were implemented in the years 2013 to 2015. At present, further measures are being taken in all divisions for the long-term and structural optimization of the business system. Daimler is standardizing and modularizing its production processes throughout the Group. In this context, Daimler is making intelligent use of vehicle platforms, allowing it to achieve further cost advantages. In parallel, it is pushing forward with digital connectivity: in all divisions and at all stages of the value chain – from development to production to sales and service. In this way, the Group is opening up additional scope to become even faster, more flexible and more efficient – to the benefit of the customers. There will be opposing effects, however, from the ongoing high expenditure for the model offensive, for innovative technologies for the digitization of products and processes, and for the expansion and modernization of the worldwide production facilities. As a result, advance expenditure aimed at securing a successful future will once again be higher in 2017 than in the previous.

On the basis of the expected market developments, the aforementioned factors and the planning of the divisions, Daimler assumes that Group EBIT will increase again slightly in 2017.

The individual divisions have the following expectations for EBIT in the year 2017:

– Mercedes-Benz Cars: significantly above the prior-year level,
– Daimler Trucks: slightly below the prior-year level,
– Mercedes-Benz Vans: significantly below the prior-year level,
– Daimler Buses: slightly above the prior-year level, and
– Daimler Financial Services: in the magnitude of the prior-year level.

The decrease in earnings anticipated at Daimler Trucks primarily reflects expenditure arising from the worldwide optimization of fixed costs. This is expected to result in a total expense of up to €500 million, mainly in the year 2017. This will be partially offset by income of approximately €250 million expected from the sale of real estate at the Kawasaki site in Japan. The Mercedes-Benz Vans division achieved very high EBIT and a high return on sales in 2016. Compared with the long-term average, the van division anticipates a very high level of earnings also in 2017. The main cause of the significant decrease compared with 2016 will be high advance expenditure for the renewal and expansion of the product portfolio.

Daimler intends to achieve a 9% average annual return on sales for the automotive business on a sustained basis. This overall figure is based on the return targets for the individual divisions predominantly achieved in 2016: 10% for Mercedes-Benz Cars, 8% for Daimler Trucks, 9% for Mercedes-Benz Vans and 6% for Daimler Buses.

The anticipated development of earnings in the automotive divisions will have a positive impact on the free cash flow of the industrial business in 2017. In view of repeated higher expenditure for new products and technologies, the free cash flow of the industrial business should be in the same magnitude as in 2016, and thus higher than the dividend distribution in 2017.

With its research and development activities, Daimler’s goal is to further strengthen its competitive position against the backdrop of upcoming technological challenges. The Group wants to create competitive advantages above all by means of innovative solutions for low emissions and safe mobility. In addition, Daimler intends to utilize the growth opportunities offered by worldwide automotive markets with new and attractive products. It is increasingly focusing on the strategic areas for the future of connectivity, autonomous driving, flexible use and services, and electric drive (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, Electric). For that purpose total expenditure for research and development will once again be significantly increased in 2017. Furthermore, the product range will be systematically and further expanded in the coming years in order to achieve the ambitious growth targets. Growth potential also outside the traditional markets is also to be utilized by means of appropriate local activities. At the same time, Daimler aims to make sure that the Group can play a leading role in shaping the fundamental technological transformation of the automotive business. Against this backdrop, investment in property, plant and equipment will increase significantly once again in the year 2017. In the years 2017 and 2018, a total of more than €14 billion will be invested in property, plant and equipment and more than €16 billion in research and development projects.

“As the inventor of the automobile, we aim to play a major role in shaping the future of mobility from a position of strength, and to occupy a leading position in the industry. That is the basis for further sustainable and profitable growth,” emphasized Dieter Zetsche. “With our investment in the future, we are increasing the Group’s innovative power and agility. At the same time, we continue to keep a close eye on financial discipline,” added Bodo Uebber.

Due to the expected growth in unit sales and revenue, production volumes will continue rising in 2017. At the same time, the efficiency-enhancing measures that have been implemented in recent years at all divisions are now taking effect. The medium- and long-term measures for structural improvements of business processes should facilitate further efficiency progress. Against this backdrop, Daimler assumes that its ambitious growth targets will be achieved with only slight workforce growth. Additional employees will be required in particular for the expansion of the international production network as well as in the area of research and development for projects in the future areas of electric mobility and digitization. More jobs are likely to be created also at companies operated together with Chinese partners and whose employees are not included in the figures for the Daimler Group.

The development of EBIT in the years 2015 and 2016 was affected by special items, which are listed in the following table:

Special items affecting EBIT

In millions of euros

2016 2015
Mercedes-Benz Cars
Expenses in connection with Takata airbags -480 -300
Expenses in connection with the remeasurement of inventories -238
Settlement in connection with a patent dispute -64
Restructuring of own dealer network -33 -64
Public-sector levies related to prior periods -121
Relocation of headquarters of MBUSA -19
Sale of real estate in the United States +87
Daimler Trucks
Workforce adjustments -91 -58
Restructuring of own dealer network -14 -47
Sale of Atlantis Foundries -61
Mercedes-Benz Vans
Expenses in connection with Takata airbags -83 -40
Workforce adjustments in Germany -38
Restructuring of own dealer network -11 -29
Relocation of headquarters of MBUSA -3
Daimler Buses
Workforce adjustments -9
Restructuring of own dealer network -4
Sale of investment in New MCI Holdings Inc. +16
Reconciliation
Expenses related to legal proceedings -400
Impairment of investment in BAIC Motor -244
Losses from currency transactions (not allocated to business operations) -241
Contribution of shares in Renault and Nissan to pension-plan assets +605

Via: www.media.daimler.com

Tata Motors January 2017 sales snapshot

Key Highlights:

  • Tata Motors’ Passenger vehicle segment grew by 21%, due to continued positive response for the Tata Tiago.
  • In M&HCVs, construction vehicles continued to grow at 26.5%
  • The IM&HCV Bus segment witnessed a growth of 12%, driven particularly by Government/STU, intercity, staff application segments

Tata Motors passenger and commercial vehicle total sales (including exports) in January 2017 were at 46,349 vehicles, a decline of 1% over 47,035 vehicles sold in January 2016. The company’s domestic sales of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles for January 2017 registered flat growth at 41,428 nos., over January 2016. Cumulative sales (including exports) of the company for the fiscal was at 4,37,842 nos., higher by 6% over 4,11,974 vehicles, sold last year.

Domestic – Passenger Vehicles

In January 2017, Tata Motors passenger vehicles, in the domestic market, recorded sales at 12,907 nos., with a growth of 21%, over January 2016, due to continued strong demand for the Tata Tiago. The company has also received an encouraging response to its recently launched lifestyle UV, Tata Hexa.

Cumulative sales growth of all passenger vehicles in the domestic market for the fiscal were at 1,25,446 nos., a growth of 18%, compared to 1,06,650 nos., in the last fiscal.

Domestic – Commercial Vehicles

The overall commercial vehicles sales in January 2017, in the domestic market were at 28,521 nos., lower by 7% over January 2016.  The construct segment continued to grow strongly by 26.5% Y-o-Y, as road construction continues to drive demand, along with coal & iron ore mining also gaining momentum. IM&HCV Bus sales grew by 12%. The M&HCV segment is witnessing a surge in enquiry levels, after a weak Q3.

Cumulative sales of commercial vehicles in the domestic market for the fiscal was flat at 2,58,928 nos. over last year.

Exports

The company’s sales from exports was at 4,921 nos. in January 2017, a decline of 13% compared to 5,637 vehicles sold in January 2016. The cumulative sales from exports for the fiscal was at 53,468 nos., higher by 15%, over 46,537 nos., sold last year.

About Tata Motors:

Tata Motors Limited is India’s largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of INR 2,75,561 crores (USD 41.6 billion) in 2015-16. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and Indonesia. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India.  With over 9 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country’s market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top in passenger vehicles. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, South America, Australia, CIS and Russia.

Bosch announces a new line of chargers SmartCharge battery chargers/maintainers

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*Image for illustrative purpose only

Broadview — Robert Bosch LLC, a worldwide supplier of automotive parts and systems to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the independent aftermarket, has announced a new line of SmartCharge Battery Chargers/Maintainers. The new high-quality, ergonomically-shaped chargers are designed with advanced safety and smart features and come equipped with a full accessory package. The accessory package includes fully-insulated and removable clamps, quick-connect harness with mounting rings, cable fuse for safety and protection, mounting hooks, and an SAE adapter for enhanced compatibility.

State-of-the-art technology and self-monitoring functions ensure that new Bosch SmartCharge Battery Chargers promote long battery life while delivering spark protection, overheating protection, reverse polarity protection and overcharging protection. The chargers will automatically switch between trickle and pulse modes, adjusting the charging algorithm according to the state of the battery. The new digital display, available on the SmartCharge Plus and SmartCharge Pro, allows users to see the status of the charge in real time and receive safety alerts.

The new Bosch SmartCharge line covers applications including passenger vehicles, classic cars, motorcycles, boats, ATVs, snowmobiles and delivery vehicles. The SmartCharge Pro is also compatible with heavy-duty trucks. With three different models to choose from, Bosch SmartCharge Battery Chargers suit the needs of the professional technician as well as the DIYer.

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