The Munich, Germany-based global OEM “fully achieved our targets,” said CEO Andreas...

The Munich, Germany-based global OEM “fully achieved our targets,” said CEO Andreas Renschler,


Photo: Traton Group

Global truck maker Traton SE has announced that it “maintained its growth path” last year, achieving a vehicle sales increase of 14% by delivering a record 233,000 commercial vehicles across its MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus brands.

The Munich, Germany-based OEM “fully achieved our targets,” said Andreas Renschler, Traton CEO and member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, in a Feb. 20 statement. “This success was driven by outstanding products, good customer proximity, a strong team, and a continued stable and attractive market overall.”

The sales level was the highest achieved since the Traton group was established in 2015. The OEM said the gain was “driven partly by continuing robust growth in Europe and sharply rising demand in Brazil.” The company noted that growth was “very dynamic in the first six months of 2018, but weakened slightly” in the second half of the year, coming in at 10% in the fourth quarter.

All three Traton brands contributed to the group’s third consecutive vehicle sales record. Putting 102,560 sales on the board, MAN registered the most vehicle deliveries, selling significantly more vehicles (+14%) than in the previous year. Scania delivered 96,480 trucks and buses (+6%) while dDemand for Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus (VWCO) vehicles rose “considerably against the background of the economic upswing in Brazil, advancing by some 40% to 36,360 units.”

While deliveries of trucks climbed by 10% to 202,490, demand for buses grew by an even more substantial 18%, to 22,630 units. Strong impetus for the bus business came particularly from South America and Africa.

In view of the high unit sales figures, Renschler said that Traton was “also benefiting from a good balance between our regional alignment and the strength of our core markets.” Therefore, Traton “remains the leading truck supplier in the EU28+2 region (EU, Norway, and Switzerland). Supported by another slight improvement in the European commercial vehicles market in 2018, the group raised year-on-year unit sales in this region by about 9% to 116,690 trucks.”

Traton also said it remains the “clear leader” in the Brazilian truck market. “As Brazil is the region’s biggest market and the most important single market for VWCO, the country’s economic recovery is having an especially positive effect.” The group delivered a total of 40,450 trucks in the South America region, “representing a sharp increase of about 37% compared to a weak 2017.”

Meantime, sales in Africa remained on pace with the previous year at 7,590 trucks while the number of vehicles sold in the Asia/Pacific region slipped by about 9% to 13,600 trucks. Sales in the Middle East region dropped by about 27% against the prior year to 6,910 trucks due in part to weaker demand in Turkey. And “against the background of the ongoing economic recovery in Russia,” deliveries there rose by about 15% to 12,480 trucks.

“We want to be a global champion in our industry,” remarked Renschler. “Our steady growth in the past three years proves that we are on the right track.”

Traton, formerly known as Volkswagen Truck & Bus, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Germany’s Volkswagen AG.

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David Cullen

David Cullen

[Former] Business/Washington Contributing Editor

David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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