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DaimlerChrysler's Heavy Truck Unit Boosts 2006 Sales to Record

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DaimlerChrysler's Heavy Truck Unit Boosts 2006 Sales to Record

By Jeremy Van Loon

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- DaimlerChrysler AG, the world's largest truckmaker, said sales of its heavy trucks reached a record last year as demand from construction and transportation companies surged.

Stuttgart, Germany-based DaimlerChrysler sold 537,000 heavy trucks last year, a 1.4 percent increase from 2005, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. Sales in Europe, Japan and North America gained.

Andreas Renschler, who heads the division, is bracing the North American unit for a sales decline this year because buyers accelerated truck purchases in 2006, before new emission standards and higher prices took effect on Jan. 1. The company is preparing to lay off 4,000 workers in North America because of an anticipated slump.

``In 2007 we expect a cyclical weakening of the markets in the NAFTA region and Japan because of emissions-related regulations,'' Renschler said in he statement.

The U.S. standards for reduced emissions follow imposition of new vehicle-exhaust rules in the European Union on Oct. 1. Sales rose in the EU for truckmakers including DaimlerChrysler and Volvo AB, Europe's second-largest, before the new regulations.

To help damp costs, DaimlerChrysler's truck unit has been working to share parts among its brands, which include Mitsubishi Fuso and Sterling in addition to Freightliner. On Jan. 1, the company began building a new engine at its Detroit Diesel plant for use on all Freightliner trucks. The company now has four different engine models.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jeremy van Loon in Berlin at [email protected]
Last Updated: January 16, 2007 04:46 EST

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