Browsing Archive December, 2014

Daimler Trucks sell close to 500,000 vehicles this year


Daimler Trucks will nearly sell 500,000 trucks in 2014. Despite partly difficult market conditions, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles succeeded in increasing deliveries to 445,300 units in the first eleven months of 2014, an increase by three percent over the same period last year.

Based on first December figures Daimler Trucks assumes to finish 2014 with a considerably positive sales growth reaching nearly 500,000 units. Final worldwide sales figures will be published at Daimler’s annual press conference on February, 5th, 2015. In 2013, Daimler Trucks sold about 484,200 vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz, FUSO, Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses and BharatBenz brands.

“Our intense efforts in all regions are paying dividends. Despite many economic challenges in some key markets, we can look back on 12 successful months. With almost 500,000 trucks sold we are already coming very close to our target envisaged for 2015,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses.

For commercial vehicles, 2014 was dominated by developments that varied widely by regions. Weak economic prospects but also political uncertainties put a strain on the market development in Latin America. In Europe, sales were impacted by the lack of dynamic economic development in addition to the introduction of the new Euro VI emissions standards and the difficult political situation in Eastern Europe. The situation is very different in North America and Japan: In these markets Daimler benefited from the strong overall local business environment for commercial vehicles.

“We scored points with our strong products. With a strong sales team and vehicles perfectly tailored to the particular customer needs we managed to increase our market positions in many key regions,” said Bernhard.

One major reason for the high market acceptance for trucks from Daimler is the extremely competitive total cost of ownership (TCO) of the vehicles, which is the most important argument for buyers of trucks as a capital good. Enhanced efficiency for the good of the customer is paramount in all regions, for all brands and for all vehicle models. This is especially true for the Actros certified to Euro VI standards in Europe, for the current NAFTA bestseller, the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution, and for the FUSO Super Great V in Japan. All three models are pioneers in terms of fuel efficiency.

About the prospects for the coming year Bernhard said:

“With our global presence, our technological leadership and our intelligent platform strategy we are well prepared to react swiftly and appropriately to unpredictabilities in the economic environment. That is why we at Daimler Trucks will continue to work steadily on further expanding our position as the world’s leading truck manufacturer in 2015.”



Dakar Rally 2015 distance and entry roaster announced


Dakar Rally organizers held a press conference for Dakar Rally 2015 in Paris, the capital of the race’s home country of France, where previously unreleased information was announced, including race distances for each stage and the roster of approved entries.

Then during the following weekend of November 22 and 23, the racing cars, bikes, trucks and assistance vehicles came together in the French port city of Le Havre to undergo vehicle inspections.

With the racers to compete over a total distance of 8,159 kilometers, the overall racing distance for the Trucks category in the upcoming Dakar Rally is about 1,000 kilometers shorter than the previous year. This will be the second-shortest course since the rally was relocated to the South American continent in 2009.


In longer races, drivers tend to drive more cautiously to reduce strain on their vehicles and maintain durability to the goal line. Races over shorter distances, such as the upcoming race, conversely result in less accumulated vehicle strain, typically leading to a more speed-oriented, sprint race. Furthermore, any time lost will be more difficult to make up as subsequent race stages will be shorter, meaning this upcoming race is again expected to be a tough one.

In an additional twist, the organizers have stated that the Trucks category will be the only one to not cross into Bolivia in stage 7 on January 10, instead racing a marathon stage* in Chile. The roster of announced entries totaled 416 vehicles (compared to 438 the previous year), with 64 entries in the Trucks category (71 the previous year). The distances for each stage and entries for each category are listed below.

As for the Marathon stage, where two stages are raced back-to-back, racing vehicles are not allowed to receive support from their assistance vehicles, team mechanics or staff members at the camp site between stages. Drivers and navigators must service their own vehicles using only the parts and tools they have on-hand.


Tata launches the new Prima prime mover


Tata Motors has launched four new next-generation Prima heavy commercial vehicles, for the very first time in Nepal, with partner Sipradi Trading Private Limited.

The Tata Prima has been built with technical inputs from across the world – an Italian cab design, engine technology from the USA and Europe, gearbox expertise from Germany, chassis frame know-how from Mexico, sheet metal dies from Japan and Korea, combined with Swedish precision on a robotic weld line, hence is also referred to as the ‘World truck’ by Tata Motors.

The launch of these new next-generation commercial vehicles marks Tata Motors continued efforts towards changing the trucking landscape in Nepal’ and consisting of a series of configurations on the PRIMA platform. In theTipper segment, Tata Motors introduced the PRIMA LX 2523.K, whereasin the Cargo segment, Tata Motors introduced the PRIMA LX 2523.T, the PRIMA LX 3123.T and the PRIMA LX 4023.S, all of which have different combinations of drivelines, meeting end-user requirements for varied applications.

The driveline of all 4 vehicles comprises of the latest engine technology from Cummins Inc. with an output of 230HP, with transmission and axle technology from leading aggregate manufacturers across the world. The new-age range

from Tata Motors, offers faster turnaround time and enhanced profitability for business, making it an ideal work horse for movement of goods and materials across distances or even doing the harshest duty at construction sites.

Besides the mechanics of the vehicle, the new generation cabin of the Tata PRIMA offers completely new stylized interiors with a focus on driver comfort. The PRIMA cabin is attractive smartly separating the drivers working and living area. It is air-conditioned and can be easily accessed, with ample amount of occupant space. The PRIMA has reclining seats with arm rests, an adjustable steering system for best possible driver control, a music system and a GPS system as a standard.



Scania supplies 100,000th truck with activated connectivity


In December Scania supplied its 100,000th truck with activated connectivity, which means that the owner as well as Scania’s workshops receive regular updates on the trucks’ performance.

This feature is included as standard in many European markets and in a number of major markets in Asia and Africa. The 100,000th vehicle since it all started in 2011 was delivered to Emil Eggers AG, a haulier that has long been drawing the full benefit of these services.

All Scania customers in the markets in question are able to connect their vehicles to their own offices and to Scania’s workshops, through a basic package that is free of charge. Remote Diagnostics and Driver Coaching are by far the most-used services. When customers request it, Scania’s workshops can access and read a truck’s status with regard to a number of parameters that are important for uptme and operational economy. This allows the haulier company to improve both its utilisation rate and its financial situation. 

In addition to the basic package, Scania offers a number of services that are wholly or partly based on connectivity. For example, positioning information with frequent updates can be displayed on the haulier’s computers; another example is automatic management of tachographic data. 

“We have excellent experience of the opportunities offered by Scania via connectivity,” says Michael Egger, Emil Egger AG. “They are a valuable addition to our haulage operation’s other support systems and actively contribute to increased uptime and reduced operating costs. Connected vehicles are more efficient. With operations all over Switzerland with a considerable amount of long haulage, it would be inconceivable for us to ignore these opportunities.”  


DHL expands fleet with LNG truck in Belgium


Deutsche Post DHL further expands its fleet of about 11,500 vehicles with alternative drive systems and aerodynamic modifications. The company has introduced two so-called Teardrop trailers as well as one LNG-Truck for the first time in Belgium.

The vehicles will be operated by DHL partner Ninatrans. The aerodynamic form of the teardrop-shaped trailers featuring a curved roof reduces air resistance, cutting fuel consumption by 5 to 10 percent compared to regular heavy-load trucks. The LNG-Truck, which runs on natural gas, in addition supports the green transport solution. By adding to its green fleet, Deutsche Post DHL not only acts on its environmental responsibility but also benefits from decreased fuel use. The teardrop trailers, built by Don-Bur, and the LNG-truck, built by Iveco, will contribute to the continuous efforts of both DHL and Ninatrans to reduce CO2 emissions.

This approach is also in line with Deutsche Post DHL’s overall strategy, called “Strategy 2020″. One aspect is the continuous emphasis on green business solutions and carbon efficiency improvement. The Group pursues the overall aim to improve CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2020.

Deutsche Post DHL has been involved in many alternative drive system projects over the years, including hybrid engines, electric vehicles, both natural gas and biogas vehicles, as well as dual-fuel and aerodynamic modifications. Most recently, Deutsche Post DHL acquired StreetScooter GmbH, a developer of tailor-made electric vehicles.



Nissan teases new Titan

Nissan has released a new teaser video for the 2016 Titan.

Set to debut at the North American International Auto Show on January 12th, the redesigned pickup is being billed as an all-American offering as it was designed in California, engineered in Michigan and tested in Arizona. The truck will also be built in Mississippi and feature engines built in Indiana and Tennessee.

The video doesn’t reveal much about the truck itself but previous teaser photos have shown the model will have a massive grille, rounded fender flares and a sculpted hood. The company has also confirmed plans for a 5.0-liter Cummins turbodiesel V8 engine that develops more than 300 bhp (223 kW) and 550 lb-ft (744 Nm) of torque.

The Titan will most likely be available only in the American market.


Volvo Trucks sales increases in Asia and North America


Deliveries from the Volvo Group’s truck operations in November 2014 amounted to 18,224 vehicles. This was a decrease of 10% compared with the year-earlier month.

Deliveries from the Volvo Group’s truck operations in November 2014 amounted to 18,224 vehicles. This was a decrease of 10% compared with the year-earlier month. On a regional basis November deliveries declined by 16% in South America, primarily due to lower deliveries in Brazil.

Deliveries in Europe declined by 31%, mainly as a result of high deliveries in 2013 during the pre-buy ahead of the EU6 emission legislation. Deliveries in North America increased by 21% in November thanks to a continuously high demand due to fleet renewal and a good economic development in general. In Asia truck deliveries increased by 10%.

In November 10,693 Volvo trucks were delivered, a decrease of 13% compared with the same month last year.

In Europe 3,701 vehicles were delivered during November, down by 30% compared with November 2013. The decline was mainly a result of high deliveries in 2013 during the pre-buy ahead of the EU6 emission legislation.

Demand in North America continued to be good and deliveries increased by 9% to 2,855 vehicles in comparison with the same period last year.

Deliveries in South America decreased to 2,176 trucks in November, a decrease of 19% compared with November 2013. Demand for new trucks is currently low due to uncertainty regarding what the interest rates for truck financing in the governmental Finame-program will be in 2015.



Scania to test wireless charging for electric city bus


Scania has become the first company in Sweden to test a wirelessly charged electric-hybrid city bus. The bus will start operating on the streets of Södertälje, Sweden, in June 2016 as part of a research project into sustainable vehicle technology.

Scania is undertaking intensive research into various types of electrification technologies that could replace or complement combustion engines. Induction is among the options being investigated and would involve vehicles wirelessly recharging their batteries via electrified roads.

Now, for the first time in Sweden, Scania and the Stockholm based Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) plan to test the technology in real-life conditions. The project will be run through their jointly operated Integrated Transport Laboratory research centre.

Swedish Energy Agency will provide 9.8 MSEK for the project’s realisation. Other stakeholders include Södertälje Municipality, Stockholm County Council and Tom Tits, the tech-oriented museum for children and youths.

As part of the field tests, a Scania citybus with an electric hybrid powertrain will go into daily operation in Södertälje in June 2016. At one of the bus stops there will be a charging station where the vehicle will be able to refill wirelessly from the road surface enough energy for a complete journey in just six-seven minutes.

“The main purpose of the field test is to evaluate the technology in real-life conditions,” says Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, Head of Scania’s Hybrid System Development Department. “There is enormous potential in the switch from combustion engines to electrification. The field test in Södertälje is the first step towards entirely electrified roads where electric vehicles take up energy from the road surface.” 

To build an infrastructure and convert bus fleets to vehicles that run exclusively on electricity will provide many advantages for a city. With a fleet of 2,000 buses, the city can save up to 50 million litres of fuel each year. This means the fuel costs decrease by up to 90 percent. 

Apart from induction, Scania’s research and development department is looking at different technology options, including the take-up of energy from overhead electrical wires or from rails. 




Dongfeng Kinland enters European market


Dongfeng’s new KX prime mover, which also the brand’s new flagship model has made its European premiere with its launch at the recent IAA show 2014.

Having made its global debut in China at the Shanghai Motor Show, the KX is actually the Kinland, with a new name for the European market. It is said that Volvo group, which currently has a 45 % stake in Dongfeng, is supplying the manual gearbox for the KX, while the automated transmission is by ZF.

Powered by a 486 hp Cummins Euro 5 engine, the Dongfeng KX DFH4250C (6×4) features a wheelbase length of 3300mm, curb weight of 10,200kg, maximum torque of 2320 Nm, a minimum ground clearance of 208mm, all wheels air suspension, disc brakes, engine brake, retarder, EBS and ESC.


Scania smartwatch takes connectivity to the next level


Scania is taking the lead in wearable technology – the growing trend for fusing fashion and high tech – with a smart wristwatch that communicates with trucks. Scania Watch is a simple way of collecting information on variables including fuel consumption, driving efficiency and average speed. It can also be used to receive email, text message and phone call notifications.

Mattias Lundholm, Head of Scania Connected Services and Solutions, says the use of wearables is still in its early stages and market awareness is low. “However, we see exciting opportunities for connecting a wristwatch to the essential information obtainable from a truck’s technical systems, as well as to data from our system for real-time monitoring and analyses of truck fleets.”

Scania has developed the watch together with Sony Mobile.

Scania’s Project Manager Jonas Svanholm adds, “We wanted to develop technology that allowed the Scania Watch to truly serve as a friend of the driver. Existing fleet management apps have primarily targeted transport companies and fleet operators. The Scania Watch, combined with the new app, takes the technology one step further and helps the driver in his or her daily work.”

The first version is being launched as a limited edition of 999 watches, called the Black Griffin. Scania will continue to develop the device, improving usability and adding new functions via software downloads.

“We hope future versions will include functions such as providing information on the driver’s pulse rate,” Svanholm says. “This will open up a range of health and safety services for drivers.”