Daimler Trucks & Buses (DT&B) utilised 2016 as a year to cement its vision to be the benchmark commercial vehicle solutions provider that makes a difference in the lives of its stakeholders.

“A depreciating rand and harsh operating conditions did not dampen our collective spirits as DT&B in 2016,” said Jasper Hafkamp, Executive Director, Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa.

“In fact, these factors pushed us to innovate through campaigns such as Total Cost of Ownership, allowing us to further prove that we always put our customers’ mobility requirements first. This approach resulted in DT&B selling 4 631 trucks and buses, a figure we are proud of in such a tough economy,” he continued.

The various Daimler brands – Mercedes-Benz Trucks, FUSO Trucks, Western Star and Mercedes-Benz Bus & Coach – all played a contributing role.

Jasper Hafkamp, Executive Director, Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa

FUSO Trucks launched the medium to heavy-duty FJ 16-230, which proved to be the truck of choice in the southern African region. With the addition of the robust vehicle, the manufacturer offered a wide choice for various applications such as distribution, rentals, courier and small-, micro- and medium-enterprises

Mercedes-Benz Bus & Coach delivered 150 dual fuel city buses – a world-first for Mercedes-Benz – to Johannesburg’s MetroBus, as well as handing over 40 Compressed Natural Gas buses to the City of Tshwane.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks increased its market share by almost two percentage points last year, as a result of the continued focus on adding value to its customers.

Value chain offerings

A major reason for the continued positive results is the benchmark value chain offerings by DT&B.

DT&B saw penetration of these value chain products increase across the board. CharterWay enjoyed a 39 percentage point increase on penetration for all its service contracts, due to the Integrated Service Plan. The manufacturer’s driver and vehicle management system, FleetBoard, increased penetration by six percentage points, while Mercedes-Benz Financial Services increased penetration across the DT&B offering by 10 percentage points.

Forming part of the value chain is the manufacturer’s pre-owned vehicles and trailers arm TruckStore South Africa, which remains a success story with total sales growing by 8% in 2016 compared to the previous year. The outlet is the biggest and most successful single TruckStore centre outside Germany, and continues to develop the pre-owned commercial vehicle and trailer business by exploring a number of opportunities.

MBSA’s good performance

The Daimler results were announced by Arno van der Merwe, CEO and Executive Director Manufacturing, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) who announced the company’s results for 2016.

The MBSA Ltd group of companies achieved a 10.8% increase in revenue to R73.4 billion for the year ended 2016 increased by. An Earnings before Interest and Tax (EBIT) of R5.6 billion was achieved for the same period – an increase of 27.3%.

The revenue gains were, as in the preceding year, in large part due to higher production volume out of its East London Plant, as well as the concurrent increase in export revenue generated from that facility.

“The group of companies showed resilience in a continuously changing landscape by remaining true to the vision we have set out for ourselves. This landscape included fluctuating exchange rates; a subdued local market for both passenger and commercial vehicles; as well as increasing global uncertainty,” said van der Merwe.


Incoming Mercedes-Benz South Africa CEO Andreas Engling

“We remain steadfast in our goal of sustainable growth through our product offensive, steadily increasing production and by collaborating with all stakeholders to actively build not only our company, but also the South African economy. And in all of this, our customers remain our top priority.”

The company also continued its investment into the East London Plant with a total of R461 million
invested for the period. Included in this amount, was the preparation for the introduction of the C 350 e plug-in hybrid into the production line-up as well as other projects to ensure consistent quality and boost productivity.

This was Van der Merwe’s last time announcing financial results for MBSA. He will take on his new role as President and CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive on 1 April 2017. Andreas Engling from Daimler’s German plant succeeds Van der Merwe as CEO of MBSA.

Robust van sales in a challenging market

During 2016, Mercedes-Benz Vans increased its market share in South Africa by 2.8 percentage points in the large van market. For the mid-size market, the division achieved 39% growth in unit sales. These impressive numbers were due to the success of the V-Class, Vito and the class-leading Sprinter.

“As Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa, we made use of our strong position and we ensured that 2016 was the year of the Vans customer. All our efforts were squarely focused on ensuring that our customers’ needs were met at every touchpoint – from both a sales and after-sales perspective – and that is why we had significant volume growth in the mid-size segment, where the Vito and V-Class operate,” said Nadia Trimmel, VicePresident of Mercedes-Benz Vans Southern Africa.

“Mercedes-Benz dominates the large van market, and despite the decline in the market, we still grew our market share. That is undisputable evidence that we continue to be the leaders when it comes to all things Vans.”