Around 100 journdalists came to the yearly press round table of Daimler Buses. Hartmut Schick here gives many information about the business of buses. Apart from that, the presentation of the electric Citaro was a highlight of the event.
Business Development: Good operative result for 2017 – now the strength to tackle technological transformation
Firstly Hartmut Schick explains the good business development in the last year. His basic tenor: "In the past years we have put our business on a really firm footing. We have significantly improved our operative result and we have seen profitable growth. We are addressing the imminent technological transformation in our sector from a position of strength. We now have the power to invest."
The facts: Despite differences in the global bus markets, Daimler Buses has maintained or extended its market leadership in the most important core markets (in short: Daimler Buses has a market share of 28.4 percent in Europe, so nearly twice as high as the number two, in Brazil that figure is significantly more than 50 percent and in Argentina 65.5 percent). Sales grew accordingly by 9, revenues by 4 percent; and where the operative result is concerned the high level of the previous year was retained.
When looking at the good overall operative result for 2017, Schick feels it is particularly important to highlight the performance of the worldwide Bus Team: "This is not the achievement of one individual. This is the achievement of 18,300 people. They have given their all to advance Daimler Buses. Everyone has made their own contribution – and every contribution was significant."
Main points of strategic focus – Reasons for the success course of Daimler Buses
Global market presence: Strong, classic core business with many major orders plus the development of new markets to make us robust enough to face market fluctuations and new market opportunities – according to Hartmut Schick this is the reason behind the good Daimler Buses business development. He cites the examples of expanding the bus business in Asia, where the sale of Mercedes buses will be starting this year in Taiwan. And also the realignment of the business in North America with REV Coach LLC as the new general distributor for Setra Buses in the USA and Canada. Or India, where Daimler Buses sold 900 Mercedes-Benz and BharatBenz brand buses in 2017, i.e. in the second year after the plant opened – an 80 percent increase in sales on the previous year. Referring to the Indian business, Schick adds: "India also stands for the fact that we have decided to increase our presence in emerging markets."
Global production network: The global production network, which facilitates a flexible supply of chassis to emerging markets, for example, is another reason for this success, according to Schick. Through the realignment of the European production network with clear competence in fields such as electric mobility, automated driving and connectivity, he sees the team optimally prepared for the future, too.
Strategic Product Initiative: The third reason for this success course is the strategic product initiative, as the Head of Daimler Buses sees it: The new Setra double-decker bus, the new Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, the new minibus generation, new Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid – the variety of products in the touring coach and city bus segment is increasing all the time.
A look ahead – systematic investment in networking of CASE technologies, automated driving, shared mobility and electric drive Systems
Hartmut Schick's message with regard to the future course of Daimler Buses is clear: "We're systematically investing in the four megatrends of networking, automated driving, shared mobility and electric drive systems." He then uses examples to explain where the Bus Division currently stands regarding the individual technologies.
C – Connectivity/networking: OMNIplus is establishing itself as the new umbrella brand and central service portal for comprehensive digital services. "With OMNIplus ON we connect the driver, vehicle and company and we give customers the opportunity to operate their business with significantly greater efficiency than in the past," is how Hartmut Schick summarizes the advantages. And thanks to the WiFi on board the passengers also remain well connected.
A – Automated driving: Schick goes into the Future Bus with CityPilot, which drives partially autonomously and was unveiled in 2016 – announcing that the system will be developed to market maturity.
S – Shared mobility: As progress in shared mobility is faster with a strong partner, Schick explains that the division has become an investor with a minority share in the Berlin mobility service CleverShuttle: "Together with CleverShuttle we want to help mobility services flexibly aimed at customer demand achieve a breakthrough," remarks Schick.
E – Electric mobility: In his last point here Schick makes a link with the day's other highlight, which the guests can familiarize themselves with in the follow-up workshop program: the all-electric Citaro: "We're bringing our electric bus to the road as swiftly as possible. But we won't be overhasty about this. We want our electric bus to be well-honed and ready to perform. And it certainly is. Our engineers have done a great job," explains Hartmut Schick. All our efforts are now being focused on deliver to the first customers, which is planned for the end of 2018. Schick emphasizes that a great deal of attention is being paid to the integrated system: "Customers need an overall solution. With our eMobility Consulting initiative we advise customers on all matters concerning converting to electric buses."
The right answers to the challenges of tomorrow
Hartmut Schick sums up the Daimler Buses developments as follows: "We have aligned Daimler Buses in such a way that we are working very profitably in the here and now. And we have a good basis for investing in the future." He points out that as a leading innovator Daimler Buses is working on the right answers to the challenges of tomorrow with new technologies and mobility Solutions.