In 2016, the bus division of the Daimler Group achieved the best return on sales in the industry at 6.2%. Daimler Buses increased its earnings by 28% to €258m/£224.89m (2015: €202m/£176.08m). The division’s earnings were therefore substantially higher than in the previous year. At approximately 3,000 buses, the Setra brand posted record unit sales in 2016. Overall, Daimler Buses sold a total of 26,200 buses and bus chassis worldwide in 2016 (2015: 28,100). The main driver of the success of Daimler Buses in 2016 was the core market of Europe. In Germany, sales increased by 10% to 3,100 units (2015: 2.800). A key factor behind this, it claims, is the ongoing growth of the long distance bus business.
For 2017, Daimler expects a significant growth in unit sales alongside a modest increase in return. It intends investing €200m/£175m in city bus development by 2020 including putting a fully electric city bus into series production as early as next year. Prototypes are already on the road and discussions regarding specific customer requirements are already taking place.
Head of Daimler Buses, Hartmut Schick, said, ‘We at Daimler Buses are satisfied with our performance in 2016. We have achieved a lot, we are making good use of our strong position and we will invest a further 600 million euros in our bus division by 2018. We will continue our offensive from this position of strength and will continually improve our organisation. To these ends, we are systematically further developing our unique product portfolio and extending our technology leadership: with partially automated driving, with electric mobility and with digital connectivity. We want to offer optimal mobility solutions to our customers all over the world. In parallel, we are constantly optimising our worldwide sales and service organization as well as our production network.’