LAS VEGAS – The man who runs one of the world's largest truck manufacturing companies thinks that Tesla's electric semi is "fun".
Daimler Trucks CEO Martin Daum told Business Insider during an interview at this year's Consumer Electronics Show that while he is taking all the competition seriously, the truck manufacturing business is not easy to crack.
"They are fun, it's an interesting market. We take all competitors seriously, Tesla has shown that they really have the accuracy to really go through big losses to capture the market," Daum Business Insider said.
"But truck transport is a difficult affair, they will learn the difficult way, truck transport is not like passenger cars where one size fits all. There is a lot of variation in trucking … The US is a very competitive market, such as me said they are funny. "
Daimler Trucks, which sold more than 500,000 trucks in 201
In the North American market – which includes the United States, Mexico and Canada – the company sold 176,000 trucks last year. Daum said that vehicles in this category include everything from school buses and chassis for delivery to up to 120,000 tonnes of specialized trucks. But Daum said the company can only afford to develop and build trucks of this kind because it has a global footprint, which something Tesla is still working on.
"How do we survive? Because we run a global company, I see not only the 176,000 North American trucks, I look at the more 500,000 trucks we sell worldwide … And that's a number you need to survive In the end, of all the players in the North American market – Volvo, Navistar, in the association with the Volkswagen Group and Paccar – we all have a large global footprint, "Daum said.
"So for Tesla, it's a long way for it to get it. We don't take them off with us, we take them seriously. In their niche they can be successful, but in the end being the fifth player in North America market, it is long and we will not make it easy for them. "