Photo: Neil Abt/Fleet Owner
CEO Martin Daum kicks off the Daimler Trucks press conference at IAA.

Daimler Trucks chief warns of trade war consequences, announces new electrification investment

Sept. 24, 2018
Despite a hot truck market, Daimler Truck chief Martin Daum is cautious about the future. At IAA Daimler also announced an investment in Proterra

HANOVER, Germany. Martin Daum, head of Daimler’s global truck and bus division, said customer sentiment remains high and new truck orders remain elevated.

As a result, the company is practically sold out through the first half of 2019. Yet Daum said he is “not fully rejoicing.” 

“When we have years when the market is too high above the long-term average it foreshadows a valley,” he said.  

 During a media briefing at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show, Daum also said he is a proponent of open trade, and that trade wars result in “no winner, just losers.”

"Whoever separates himself from the global markets suffers,” Daum said. “You get a bigger share of your cake, but the cake shrinks.”

He noted prices for alumni and steel have increased from tariffs, making trucks costlier for buyers. The trickles down to “consumers because ultimately transportation might become more expensive,” Daum said.

He also announced at IAA that Daimler was leading a $155 million investment in Calif.-based Proterra Inc., a manufacturer of electric charging systems.

Daum said this was a strategic step for both companies to expand their footprints into more markets and to develop additional products. Among the first ventures will be incorporating Proterra’s technologies into school buses under Daimler’s Thomas Built Buses brand.

Besides electric vehicles like the Fuso eCanter, Daimler also showed on the exhibit floor Daimler a full electric eCitaro bus, using fuel cell technology as a range extender. Known as FCell, it was also part of a concept Sprinter van on display.

During June, Daimler Trucks North America unveiled its Freightliner eCascadia heavy-duty truck and Freightliner eM2 medium-duty models.

Editor's note: Check back later this week for a closer look at Daimler's technology demonstrations and conceptual van of the future from IAA.

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry during this informative webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!