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Daimler expects truck unit to outperform market

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German luxury carmaker Daimler expects it trucks unit to outperform the market in the coming years, banking on its brands and global presence.

Daimler, also the world's largest truck maker, said the global truck market was expected to grow at an annual 3-4 percent between now and 2020, adding Daimler Trucks would grow above that rate.

Sales for the truck division's six brands - Mercedes-Benz, Fuso, Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses, and BharatBenz - rose about 14.3 percent to 424,000 vehicles in the January-November period, boosted by strong demand in Asia and North America.

This nearly matched the 426,000 vehicles recorded for the whole of 2011.

Daimler expects the global truck market to expand only slightly in 2013, adding that market conditions would remain challenging, partly due to Europe's ongoing debt crisis.

"We should not underestimate the risks the European debt crisis or government regulations pose to the demand for trucks," Daimler Trucks Chief Executive Andreas Renschler said in a statement.

Daimler Trucks in September confirmed it sees 2012 operating profit at least matching the 1.88 billion euros ($2.49 billion) made in 2011.

($1 = 0.7563 euros)

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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