Daimler Truck Holding AG
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Daimler Truck CFO: Supply chain still ‘broken’

Nov. 14, 2022
A better product mix and pricing power more than doubled the manufacturer’s North American EBIT in Q3, but there’s still lots of 2023 uncertainty as customers decide between higher financing costs and higher maintenance costs for aging fleets.

Daimler Truck Holding AG reported third-quarter profits of more than $1 billion—more than four times its number for the corresponding 2021 quarter—as revenues climbed 47% to $13.9 billion. North American unit sales led the way for the maker of Freightliner and Western Star trucks, climbing 42% to more than 49,000.

In the three months ended Sept. 30, Germany-headquartered Daimler Truck booked North American revenues of more than $6.3 billion, a jump of 71% from the prior-year period thanks in part to what CFO Jochen Goetz called “a favorable sales mix and especially strong pricing.” The company’s EBIT more than doubled to $760 million and it grew its market share on the continent to 38.5% from 36.4% in 2021’s Q3.

Echoing upbeat comments made recently by a number of U.S. trucking company leaders, Goetz said demand for the company’s vehicles remains very strong. His team, he added, has not seen any signs that cancellations or order delays are poised to climb meaningfully in either North America or Europe. Looking ahead, the Daimler team has slightly raised the full-year financial forecasts for its truck group and is not expecting to face any “major” production hiccups due to supply chain problems or natural gas prices.

Goetz said some supply chain stresses, including those around semiconductors, are easing but that doesn’t mean the production environment is close to returning to normal. A lack of investment by several suppliers in recent years has limited their capacity to ramp up along with Daimler, causing several types of shortages. Goetz likened the situation to trying to stop water from leaking through holes in a wall; we only have 10 fingers, he said, and at some point, "water is pouring all over the place."

“The supply chain is somehow broken. We have plenty of parts where we have to discuss [with customers] how we can safeguard the volumes for next year,” he said. “The supply chain will determine in the end the size of the market.”

Goetz also told analysts that many of Daimler’s U.S. customers aren’t yet balking at ordering new trucks because of higher financing costs versus a year ago. The far bigger issue, he said, is that their fleets are aging and thus becoming much more expensive to operate.

Shares of Daimler Truck (Ticker: DTG) were essentially flat, around €28.70 in afternoon trading in Frankfurt. Over the past six months, they have risen about 10%, growing the company’s market capitalization to more than €23 billion.

This article originally appeared on FleetOwner.com.

About the Author

Geert De Lombaerde

A native of Belgium, Geert De Lombaerde has more than two decades of business journalism experience. With a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, he began his reporting career at the Business Courier in Cincinnati and later was managing editor and editor of the Nashville Business Journal. Most recently, he oversaw the online and print products of the Nashville Post and reported primarily on Middle Tennessee’s finance sector as well as many of its publicly traded companies.

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