Daimler Truck Holding AG executives could boost capacity of the company’s line of Western Star vocational trucks to meet demand that is expected to outpace the broader market in 2024.
Speaking to analysts Nov. 7 after Daimler reported its third-quarter results, CEO and Interim CFO Martin Daum said the Western Star team’s order book is sold out through the first two quarters of next year and that the lineup is poised to grow its market share.
“The factories are really packed and therefore, we go full steam” in 2024, Daum said. “We might even increase capacity. This is a pretty good story.”
Daum didn’t elaborate on the scope and timeline of any investments in new capacity, and Daimler spokespeople said the company isn’t providing details at this point about production plans. Western Star has been under the Daimler Truck North America umbrella since 2000 and runs factories in Portland, Oregon, and Cleveland, North Carolina, that make the 47X and 49X series of vocational trucks as well as the 57X on-highway truck launched last year to target owner-operators and small fleets.
Daum and the Daimler Truck team aren’t the only market players upbeat about the market for vocational trucks. Paccar Inc. CEO Preston Feight late last month said the sector is “probably just spinning up” as investments in infrastructure and nonresidential construction have been growing strongly. Paccar’s Peterbilt and Kenworth brands, Feight said, control about 40% of the vocational market, and the company’s plants can comfortably adapt their output if demand continues to grow.
“That will be just fine for us if we see that shift,” Feight said on the heels of reporting Paccar’s Q3 results. “It will be good for Paccar and good for our customers.”
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