Daimler's third-quarter operating profit declined, as the cost of making diesel engine cars run cleaner and other special items outweighed record sales of Mercedes-Benz luxury models. Ciara Lee reports
A greener auto sector doesn't come cheap. And the cost of making cleaner diesel engine cars is beginning to squeeze carmakers. Daimler's third-quarter earnings plunged 14 percent to 3.46 billion euros Outweighing record sales of its Mercedes-Benz luxury models. The German firm spent 223 million euros last quarter to update over 3 million current and older Mercedes diesel models in Europe In a bid to curb pollution and help avoid driving bans. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "It is a problem for the car industry which has actually done rather well generally, in terms of meeting the EU targets for reducing CO2 emissions and making their engines much more efficient. I think the manufacturers have moved really quite fast, faster than some of the targets being set. There is no doubt that it's costly for the industry." For Daimler, further bumps in the road are expected. A recall of more than a million passenger cars and SUVs to address potential unintended air bag deployments will add another 230 million euros in costs. But there was good news at Daimler Trucks, the group's second-largest unit by revenue Earnings jumped by a third thanks to a boost in North America where heavy-truck orders rose to their highest in over two years in September. And third-quarter deliveries of Mercedes luxury cars rose a record 7.9 percent, thanks to demand for its SUV models.