September 21, 2016 / 9:27 AM / a year ago

Daimler concerned about European truck slowdown in H2

HANOVER, Germany, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Daimler’s trucks chief expressed concern on Wednesday about a possible slowdown of demand in Europe for heavy-duty commercial vehicles given growing political uncertainty in the region.

The European market for heavy trucks expanded 17 percent to about 180,000 vehicles in the January-to-July period, Daimler Trucks Chief Executive Wolfgang Bernhard told reporters at the Hanover trucks show.

“There is concern that this (level of) growth cannot be sustained in the same way in the second half of the year,” Bernhard said, noting customers are becoming more hesitant following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and the region’s refugee crisis.

Separately, Bernhard said the manufacturer is done cutting jobs in Brazil to offset effects on truck demand caused by the slump in Latin America’s biggest economy.

Daimler’s truck division said in June it would cut a further 2,000 jobs in Brazil, raising the number of people laid off in the country to almost 5,000 since last year.

The executive stood by a forecast that operating profit at the division would decline 10 percent from 2015 results, saying truck deliveries this year will drop significantly below year-ago levels.

Bernhard kept to a target of selling 700,000 trucks by 2020. (Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Christoph Steitz)

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