The financial crisis has made it difficult for automakers to make any profits as demand slumps for cars in major markets, especially in the luxury sector. This is a situation that German giant Daimler AG is feeling the full brunt of at the moment, having just posted a €1.06 billion ($1.51 billion) loss for the second quarter of the year.

Covering the period from April to June, the loss is not as large as some analysts were expecting but is still a far cry from the over €1 billion profit that Daimler made for the same period in 2008. The largest change has come in the lack of new car buyers, with figures putting the drop in business at close to 25% for the car market alone. Meanwhile, the market for trucks has dropped even more dramatically, with Daimler struggling to match even half the units it sold last year compared to this year - a sobering fact considering Daimler is the world's largest manufacturer of trucks by sales.

Daimler is also not expecting things to turnaround overnight, with CEO Dieter Zetsche predicting sales for 2009 to be significantly down overall. But according to Zetsche, low car sales may be bottoming out and stabilizing, and that a turnaround was possible in the next couple of years.

In total, the company has lost close to €2.3 billion from the start of the year, and sales have fallen by almost a quarter across the board. Cost cutting measures and other initiatives are starting to take effect, however, and Daimler is hoping for some improvement in the second half of the year.