DaimlerChrysler (DC) today announced that 2004 was its record-setting year in commercial vehicle sales. It posted worldwide sales of 712,200—a 42% jump over 2003 sales. Excluding Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp., sales totaled 594,100 units, which marks a 7% increase over its previous record sales year in 1999.
“This sharp increase was caused by the attractive product portfolio and high demand in the Middle East and Asia,” stated DC.
DC’s commercial vehicle division includes such nameplates as Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star. NAFTA sales, within its Freightliner group, reached 152,400 units for a 28% increase over the previous year.
During the boom 2004 year, DaimlerChrysler invested heavily in plant workers, having announced plans to add 700 full-time employees at its Portland, OR plant in July, and 600 full-time jobs to its Cleveland, NC facility in June.
Meanwhile, another DC firm, Detroit Diesel Remanufacturing Corp. (DDR), has broken ground for a $8 million facility. The new building will complement its East complex in Cambridge, OH. It will produce remanufactured engines and engine products for the automotive and commercial truck markets.
The new 134,000 sq-ft. manufacturing and distribution facility will be located on a 20-acre site near the East Center. Both facilities will perform remanufacturing work, with some operations transferring from the East complex to the new plant.
“Cleaning and core processing operations will be transferred to the new complex and will enable us to support business partners like Freightliner and Mopar, said DDR president Jim Morrow.
“With large backlogs, there’s pressure to get product out so OEMs and suppliers are investing to reduce bottlenecks,” said analyst Chris Brady, president of Commercial Motor Vehicle Consulting. “Right now they’re putting investment in place to expand output.”