Daimler hit by 13% slowdown of sales for Mercedes-Benz cars in Germany

Profit slide accompanied by regulatory crackdown on older diesel vehicles and US investigation into emissions

Daimler last week said its full-year operating profit would fall by over 10%   because of “government proceedings and measures in various regions” in what amounted to the company’s second profit warning in four months

Daimler last week said its full-year operating profit would fall by over 10% because of “government proceedings and measures in various regions” in what amounted to the company’s second profit warning in four months

 

Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche on Thursday said customer demand remains strong even as a regulatory crackdown on diesel cars and a 13 per cent sales slowdown for Mercedes-Benz cars in Germany weighed on third-quarter earnings.

“The automotive industry and thus also Daimler are still in a very challenging environment. The continued high demand from our customers makes us confident for the fourth quarter,” Mr Zetsche said.

Third-quarter earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) fell 27 per cent year on year to €2.49 billion, hit by a 35 per cent Ebit fall at Mercedes-Benz Cars to €1.37 billion.

The profit slide is accompanied by continuing friction between the German government and car-makers over whether to fit expensive emissions-reducing exhaust systems to older diesel vehicles and an ongoing US investigation into emissions.

Earnings were also hit by a provision taken after a court ruling confirming a ban on the R134a air conditioning fluid used in Mercedes-Benz cars, Daimler said.

Daimler last week said its full-year operating profit would fall by over 10 per cent because of “government proceedings and measures in various regions”, in what amounted to the company’s second profit warning in four months.

In May, German prosecutors searched Daimler’s offices as part of a fraud investigation related to possible manipulation of diesel exhaust emission levels, and US authorities have asked Mercedes-Benz to explain emissions levels on certain vehicles. – Reuters