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Daimler lost $2.2 billion in Q2, sees signs of recovery

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Car and truck maker Daimler AG took a hit to earnings in the second quarter from the virus outbreak

FRANKFURT, Germany —
Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars and Freightliner trucks, lost 1.91 billion euros ($2.21 billion) in the second quarter as the coronavirus outbreak slashed sales of the company’s cars, vans, buses and trucks by about a third.

CEO Ola Kallenius said Thursday it had worked to preserve cash reserves during a difficult time and was seeing “the first signs of a sales recovery.” He said there would be more efforts to cut costs because the lost sales would not be made up this year.

The profit figure compared to a loss of 1.24 billion euros in the April-June quarter last year when the company had large one-time deductions to earnings.

Daimler suspended production in March, April and May as the pandemic and related countermeasures slowed economic activity around the world. Vehicle sales fell 34% to 542,000 from 822,000 compared to the year-ago period. Top-line revenue fell 29% to 30.2 billion euros.

Kallenius said that “our net industrial liquidity is a testament to effective cost control and cash management, which we must continue to enforce. We are now seeing the first signs of a sales recovery — especially at Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, where we are experiencing strong demand for our top end models and our electrified vehicles.”

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