Shortages in components have led to Daimler Trucks North America laying off hundreds of workers, scaling back production, and the loss of significant market share in heavy and medium duty trucks. Speaking to FreightWaves at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Georgia, President and CEO Roger Nielsen said his company is maxed out at the moment.
“Our Class 6-7 trucks are out of capacity. We built every truck we could. We sold every heavy-duty engine we could,” he said, adding, “Other companies have capacity and were able to take advantage. We never capacitized for the market we saw.”
Those other companies include Navistar International Corporation and Peterbilt Trucks Company (a subsidiary of Paccar Inc.), which gained shares in the medium duty truck market.
Despite the drop in shares (3.1 percent in Class 8 and 7 percent in Class 6-7), Nielsen said Daimler Trucks North America is optimistic, considering the big picture.
“Our Class 8 share is higher now than it was at the end of 2018,” he said. “We rebounded in September after inventory built up throughout the year.” He added:
“We have reports of small fleets giving up their operating authority, so there’s definitely older trucks available out there. But the three- to five-year-old used truck market that we do business in is still strong. We see the pricing stabilizing and we do not see an oversupply in those trucks either now or in the future.”
Overall, according to Nielsen, things are as they should be, telling FreightWaves:
“I don’t know what the rest of the guys are doing, but we’re out there selling trucks.”
Daimler is the parent company of Freightliner Trucks, the leading truck brand in North America.