But Dr Eckhard Cordes, DaimlerChrysler board of management member with responsibility for the Commercial Vehicles Division, said 'it looks to the future with confidence' despite 'generally weak global markets in the short term'.
'The entire commercial vehicle industry must face up to the fact that global sales of vans, trucks and buses are set to decline further this year,' he said.
It was these market conditions that meant the manufacturer's commercial vehicles division failed to match last year's sales figures during the first eight months of 2002.
Sales of about 312,000 vehicles, compared to 327,000 units during the same period last year, amounted to a 4.6% decline.
Cordes added: 'But the decisive thing for us is that our market share remained stable in all the major segments and markets.'
The company said it is new products that guarantee growth, 'even and most especially in challenging times'.
Cordes was speaking at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany, this week.