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Daimler Trucks Roll Over Competitors

Thanks to superior technology bolstered by heavy R&D spending, Daimler's truck business is expected to thrive.
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Daimler (DAI) is one of the world's leading automotive companies. In addition to Mercedes Benz and other consumer vehicle brands, Daimler produces several truck and bus lines, including Western Star, Freightliner and Thomas Built.

Daimler is the leading medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America, where it competes with companies such as


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and AB Volvo.

Thanks to superior technology bolstered by heavy R&D spending, we expect Daimler's truck business to thrive during the Trefis forecast period. Our analysis follows below.

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Capacity expands, orders rise

Daimler is the only U.S. truck manufacturer to increase its production capacity recently. In a

press release, the company announced that its heavy-duty truck manufacturing capacity increased by 67% in July 2010 compared to the same month in 2009.

Last year Daimler Trucks North America opened a new manufacturing plant in Mexico. In the second quarter of 2010 the division booked four large orders from transport companies such as Western Express and Schneider National. We think Daimler is well-positioned to strengthen its competitive position going forward as the U.S. economy continues to recover.

We maintain our 1.16% market share forecast of Daimler in the U.S. truck market, including SUVs. You can drag the trend-line in the chart below to create your own truck market share estimate for Daimler and see how it impacts the company's stock price.

Competitive advantage

Daimler trucks stand out for their exceptionally high-performance, fuel-efficient engines. Daimler's latest truck engines feature Blue Tec emissions technology that substantially reduces nitrous oxide and CO2 emissions without hurting fuel efficiency. The BlueTec emissions treatment system should help Daimler meet future emission limits imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Daimler's truck R&D program is exceptionally strong, combining expertise from manufacturing units in the U.S., Europe and Japan. We expect Daimler to spend $5.13 billion on R&D in 2010.

You can see our

complete $63 Trefis price estimate for Daimler's stock here.


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