It's not a good time to be a maker of trucks and ship engines when transport volumes decline sharply and financing evaporates.
MAN is the world's third-largest maker of trucks (behind Daimler-Benz and Volvo), and its Q1 results show how the industry is suffering:
Orders have increased a bit from a catastrophic Q4, but compared to Q1 last year, they are still rather sobering:
- Total orders are down 53 % (domestic -46 %, international -55 %)
- Orders for busses (-18 %) and turbines (-18 %) were comparatively "stable"
- Ship engines suffered a 38 % drop
- But the real problem is trucks: Orders were down 66 %
Amazingly, MAN still managed to post a small profit. But as they are still working on old orders, revenues were down "only" 27 %, i.e. the full force of the impact has yet to hit their bottom-line.
MAN's outlook: No improvement expected for the immediate future.
By the way, it's amazing how long it took for the extent of the crisis to sink in: By accident, I stumbled over a press article which quotes the head of MAN's trucking unit as saying: "Right now, we can assume that our orders will increase in 2009". Date of the article? September 21, 2008. Just 7 months ago.