Germany’s Traton Group reported 32% higher revenues in 2022 despite the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, ongoing supply chain disruptions and record inflation.
Its North American truck-making unit, Navistar International, contributed significantly. Without the Lisle, Illinois-based manufacturer, Traton would have reported just 10% improved revenue year over year. Traton acquired Navistar for $3.7 billion in October 2021.
The truck holding company of Volkswagen AG , Traton is one of the four large global truck makers that includes Daimler Truck, Volvo Group and Paccar Inc. Traton consists of Swedish truck manufacturer Scania, Germany’s MAN Truck & Bus, Volkswagen Truck & Bus in Brazil and Navistar.
Navistar a shining star in Traton universe
“Navistar has quickly become a cornerstone of our group,” Annette Danielski, Traton Group CFO, said in a news release. “In 2022, we showed how well we work together when times get tough. This is making me optimistic for the years to come.”
Traton’s sales revenue grew almost a third to 40.3 billion euros ($42.6 billion). That compares to 30.6 billion euros ($32.4 billion) in 2021. The adjusted operating return on sales was 5.1%, just below the 5.2% reported a year earlier. Adjusted operating results hit 2.1 billion euros compared to 1.6 billion euros a year ago.
Executives credited a positive market, product mix, higher prices and strong growth in the vehicle services business. It accounted for 8.5 billion euros or 21% of total revenue. Traton expects an operating return on sales of 6% to 7% this year with revenues rising 5% to 15%.
Traton backlog gives confidence
The optimism is based on a backlog of orders that is nearly as large as a year’s production. Traton sold 254,300 trucks in 2022, up 10% from 230,549 in 2021. Total unit sales including trucks, buses and vans, reached 305,485 — up 12% over 271,608 of all the company’s vehicles sold in 2021.
Still, supply chain bottlenecks and a six-week shutdown at MAN in connection with the war in Ukraine dinged the otherwise solid results. Supply chains and the availability of raw materials have not fully recovered. Incoming truck orders fell 10% to 279,299.
Traton recorded a total loss of 477 million euros in impairment and bad debt allowances covering the sale of the Scania and MAN distribution companies in Russia last year. Scania’s financial services business was sold this quarter.
“I’ve worked in the commercial vehicle industry for almost 30 years, and I cannot recall a single year as full of challenges as 2022 — from the COVID-19 pandemic and massive supply chain disruptions to the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis in Europe, and with inflation at some of the highest levels seen in history,” Traton CEO Christian Levin said.
Common base engine helping Traton globally
A new base engine developed globally should help economies of scale by using common components around the world. Navistar introduced the integrated powertrain it calls the S13 in August.
“Scania’s customers already have the opportunity to buy the new powertrain. [They] are as enthusiastic about it as the trade press,” Levin said. MAN Truck & Bus will also be incorporating the new powertrain into its portfolio in the next few years, followed by Volkswagen Truck & Bus.
Traton sold 1,740 all-electric vehicles in 2022 despite “the infrastructure we so urgently need is yet to be established,” Levin said.
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