What Does Daimler Trucks CEO Really Think About Tesla Semi?
Does this trucking expert love or hate the Tesla Semi?
Daimler is one of the world’s most prolific truck makers. So, we should truly consider the opinions of its top dog. Daimler Trucks CEO Martin Daum shared his thoughts on the Tesla Semi with Business Insider via (LMTonline) at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Daum was honest to say that he believes the Tesla Semi is “fun.” He also finds Tesla’s competition as a serious concern. However, he’s well aware that Tesla’s entry into the trucking market is likely to be a challenge. The trucking industry for Daimler — and many rivals — is at a global level. While Tesla is a global company, paving a space in that market may prove difficult. Daum shared:
They’re fun [Tesla Semis], it’s an interesting market. We take every competitor seriously, Tesla has proved they really have the tenacity to really go through huge losses to capture the market.
But trucking is a difficult business. They will learn the hard way, trucking is not like passenger cars where one size fits all. There’s a lot of variety in trucking…the United States is a highly competitive market, so as I said, they’re fun.
Daimler sold over a half million trucks in 2018 alone, 176,000 of which it delivered in North America. Daum made it clear that the company will work to continue and increase such efforts, which matches up with the announcements we’ve read and covered as of late. He makes it clear that while Tesla should be seen as a viable competitor, it has much work ahead. He explained:
How do we survive? Because we run a global business. I don’t just look at the 176,000 North American trucks, I look at the more 500,000 trucks we sell worldwide… And that is a unit number you need to survive ultimately. Of all players in the North American market — Volvo, Navistar, in the association with the Volkswagen Group, and Paccar — we all have one big global footprint.
So for Tesla, it is a long way for it to get that. Not making fun of them, we take them seriously. In their niche, they could be successful, but to be ultimately the fifth player in the North American market, it’s a long way and we won’t make it easy for them.
Do you think the Tesla Semi will actually come to be and can secure a driving force in this industry? Let us know in the comment section below.