Hannover, Germany.  Despite challenging conditions in Europe and Brazil, and a slowing market for commercial vehicles in China, Daimler Trucks likes the long-term outlook and expects to see global medium and heavy truck sales reach nearly 4 million units by 2020, according to Andreas Renschler, the head of that business unit.

Pointing to Daimler Truck’s  strategy of regional production using global technology platforms, Renschler said strong sales in North America, double digit growth in Russia and expanding business in India are helping the company weather the industry’s short-term cycles. 

“Short-term cycles are our natural habitat,” he said at the opening of the 2012 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show. “We can balance weaker markets with the strong ones.”

That not only compensates for regional downturns, but by allowing development of common product platforms “we can afford to offer the best products in every market.”

Predicting that global demand for medium and heavy-duty trucks will grow 50% over the next 10 years, Renschler said, “The biggest challenge for the commercial vehicle is by no means low demand. On the contrary, the greatest challenge is its growing success.”

No matter what the market, the basic customer demands are the same, he said - lowest total cost of ownership and a truck that “fits the customer like a custom-tailored suit.”

Daimler is using IAA to introduce two entirely new vehicles, the Antos heavy-duty truck for regional hauling applications and the Citan, a small commercial van for urban fleets.  The Antos has three power options, including the 13L developed by Daimler subsidiary Detroit and first introduced in North America.  It also introduces a new Daimler 7.7L medium-duty diesel that could be expected to eventually show up in other developed markets with stringent emissions standards.

Prior to the show’s opening, Daimler Truck introduced its entire global portfolio, showing an international press corps trucks fromFreightliner as well as from its new BharatBenz brand and joint ventures in Russia with Kamaz and China with Foton.