BERLIN -- DaimlerChrysler AG expects to be the world's most profitable truckmaker in 2004, Eckhard Cordes, who headed the company's commercial vehicles division until this month, said Wednesday.
"Unless everything goes wrong, we will become the most profitable truckmaker in the world this year," Cordes, who now runs the German-American carmaker's Mercedes Car Group, told a logistics conference.
DaimlerChrysler's trucks and buses division is already the biggest in the world. The business rebounded from losses to make a pretax profit of $1.08 billion in 2003.
Cordes said last month that the truck business continued to boom in the second half and forecast the division would generate sharply higher 2004 operating profit.
He said market conditions remained good, with burgeoning demand for trucks in Europe and particularly strong business in the North American Free Trade Agreement region and the Middle East helping to boost results.
DaimlerChrysler is far and away the biggest maker of heavy trucks. Excluding Chinese manufacturers that produce almost exclusively for the domestic market, DaimlerChrysler leads Volvo and Paccar.