Daimler Trucks Unit to Cut Up to 2,100 Posts to Boost Profit

Daimler AG (DAI), the world’s largest truckmaker, plans to eliminate as many as 2,100 positions at its commercial-vehicles unit to improve profitability.

Daimler is negotiating with the United Auto Workers union to cut as many as 1,300 factory jobs in North America, Bernd Weber, a spokesman for the Stuttgart, Germany-based company, said today in a telephone interview. The manufacturer will also slash 800 non-production posts in Germany, he said, confirming comments that Andreas Renschler, who runs the division, made in an interview with the Handelsblatt newspaper.

Daimler, the world’s largest producer of commercial vehicles by revenue, is lagging behind Volvo AB (VOLVB) and Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Scania AB (SCVB) in profitability. Renschler pledged last year to close the margin gap to Daimler’s competitors after investors questioned the rationale behind the combination of trucks and Mercedes-Benz luxury cars in the same company.

Daimler produces commercial vehicles ranging from the Citan delivery van to city buses to the long-haul Actros truck. The truck division accounted for about 25 percent of Daimler’s 107 billion euros in revenue in 2011.

The German job cuts will be made through voluntary departures, Weber said.

The shares closed down 1.2 percent at 43.55 euros in Frankfurt trading today. The stock has risen 5.4 percent this year, valuing the company at 46.5 billion euros ($63.1 billion).

To contact the reporters on this story: Dorothee Tschampa in Frankfurt at dtschampa@bloomberg.net; Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at crauwald@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net

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