LOUISVILLE, KY. Predicting that North American Class 8 truck sales this year will be 10% above or below 2012 levels, Daimler Trucks North America president and CEO Martin Daum said: “I’m only certain there is uncertainty in the market.”

Speaking at the Mid-America Trucking Show, Daum reported that DTNA sales were off to a strong start in the first two months of 2013, “but you have to live with this uncertainty, you have to be able to handle these ups and downs with modern production system.”

Calling the first two months’ sales “a tremendous head start,” Daum doesn’t expect to sustain that pace for the entire year, “but come October, we might be surprised.”

In his view, the economic recovery would have to be strong for truck sales to hit the high side of his plus/minus 10% forecast. “But we can live happily” anywhere within that spread, Daum added.

Taking in his final MATS after almost 10 years as the head of DTNA’s parent Daimler Truck, Andreas Renschler confessed to feeling a bit sentimental as he prepares to move over to head the Mercedes Benz automobile business next month. 

“DTNA has been making a huge contribution to [Daimler Truck’s] operating results,” he said.

“German-American cooperation has not always been a success,” Renschler said, alluding to Daimler’s failed acquisition of Chrylser, “but it certainly has been in trucks.”