MAN expects next year to be even tougher than 2012 as orders in the third quarter dropped more than normal.
The Chief Financial Officer of the truckmaker controlled by Volkswagen AG, Frank Lutz, said the decline in third-quarter business was stronger than seasonal patterns.
MAN reaffirmed its 2012 earnings forecast, which was lowered in July as weaker demand in Brazil added to woes in Europe. At the time, the German truckmaker said that it expected its profit margin to decline to about 6 percent of sales, compared with a previous target of 8.5 percent. MAN’s operating profit in the second quarter dropped 50 percent to 218 million euros ($283 million), as Europe’s debt crisis undermined truck demand.
Deliveries of heavy-duty vehicles are forecast to drop 4 percent in western Europe this year, according to the German industry association VDA. Currently MAN is in the process of integrating its truck operations with Scania, also controlled by VW, in an attempt to cut costs.
European heavy truck sales declined 9.1 percent in August to 14,436 units, according to industry group ACEA. Deliveries in the first eight months of the year also dropped 6.3 percent to 148,531 trucks. In response to weaker demand, some truckmakers plan to cut production. Daimler AG, Europe’s largest commercial-vehicle maker, plans to stop production at its truck plant in Woerth, Germany, for four days in October.