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WOERTH, Germany, March 13 (Reuters) - Daimler Trucks forecast a weak first quarter due to shrinking orders in Europe and the United States with an improvement only expected in the second half, the division's chief said on Wednesday.
Andreas Renschler added, however, that the goal of an 8 percent operating margin originally targeted for 2013 would be delayed by no more than a year.
"It should be achievable in 2014 at the latest," he told reporters at Daimler Truck's annual press conference held in its main manufacturing plant in Woerth near the French border.
European truckmakers are suffering heavily from the ongoing malaise in the euro zone, since demand closely tracks the cross-border trade of goods.
Registrations of new heavy-duty commercial trucks sank 9.4 percent in the European Union last year following big drops in Italy and Spain.