DAF achieving record production settles with Deutsche Bahn

Dutch truck manufacturer DAF has closed 2023 with a record production of 69,800 trucks at its Eindhoven and Leyland factories. It has also settled with German train operator Deutsche Bahn over the losses incurred by the truck manufacturers’ price-fixing scandal a decade ago.

DAF, part of the Paccar Group, can look back at a successful 2023 with the launch of new models like the XB, the completion of the New Generation range, and a new electric truck assembly line in Eindhoven. The company confirms it will achieve a record production of 69,800 trucks in 2023, up from around 68,000 in 2022.

The brand can also celebrate being the market leader in five European countries: the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Across Europe, DAF recorded a market share of 15.6% of a record total of 343,000 units. The company is also growing outside of Europe, with a total of 7,500 deliveries and new records in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Settlement reached after price-fixing cartel scandal

However, there is also news that DAF won’t put in its 2023 recap. The company has settled with German train operator Deutsche Bahn in the price-fixing cartel scandal, which concerned DAF, Daimler, Iveco, MAN, Volvo/Renault, and Scania.

The cartel agreements started in 1997 and were brought to light by the European Commission in 2011 after being tipped by MAN. The following investigation resulted in a record fine of €2.9 billion in 2016.

DAF was ordered to pay around €752 million, with a 10% reduction as the company agreed to a settlement. Only Scania fought to avoid its €880 million fine through the court system, but the European Court of Justice finally rejected its appeal on February 1, 2024.

Deutsche Bahn (DB) brought together the compensation claims of around 40 companies for losses incurred by these price-fixing agreements and filed a lawsuit in 2017. DAF is the first company to come to a settlement, with DB stating, “DAF has fulfilled its obligation to compensate for the damage caused by the truck cartel.” No figures were disclosed, but Paccar’s financial results for 2023 do mention a $446.4 million (€415.2 million) after-tax expense related to civil litigation in Europe, as reported by Trans.Info.

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