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Daimler Investing More Than $20B in Battery Cells

Company furthers commitment to EVs.

by Joseph Szczesny on Dec.12, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche announced the company's commitment to buy more than $22 billion in battery cells.

Daimler AG is prepared to put up $22 billion to purchase battery cells over the next dozen years.

Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said the commitment is expected to help insure that the batteries are available to move ahead with the development of electric vehicles.

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“Our electric offensive continues to gain momentum. After investing billions of euros in the development of the electric fleet and the expansion of our global battery network, we are now taking the next step,” Zetsche said. (more…)

Daimler, BMW Mobility Joint Venture Delayed

Companies pushing on, meeting with U.S. authorities.

by Joseph Szczesny on Dec.10, 2018

Mobility enterprises, like Daimler's alliance with the Car2Go car-sharing service, are partnering more often, as Daimler is trying to do with BMW.

Delays in obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals have forced Daimler AG and BMW Group to push back their effort to establish a joint-venture mobility company.

The delay will force Daimler Financial Services to lower its earnings forecast for 2018. The division now expects EBIT to be significantly lower than in the previous year.

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The forecast for the Daimler Group’s EBIT in the 2018 financial year remains unaffected and unchanged. As previously announced, the transaction will not have any cash-flow impact on the industrial business, Daimler said in a statement, updating the plans for the joint venture. (more…)

European Auto Execs Meet with Trump, Aim to Head Off Expanded Trade War

VW signals a second U.S. plant is in the works.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.05, 2018

President Donald Trump met with the leaders of BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen.

Even as President Donald Trump was backpeddling on earlier comments suggesting the trade dispute with China had been defused, the former New York businessman was meeting with European auto industry executives worried that they could become targeted by yet another front in the trade war.

The president has signaled he may enact duties of 25% or more on vehicles imported from Europe, even though his own Commerce Dept. has backed away from plans to declare imported automobiles a threat to national security.

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Trump “shared his vision of all automakers producing in the United States and creating a more friendly business environment,” the White House said in a statement that followed the meeting with officials from BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen. (more…)

Daimler AG Stumbles as Third Quarter Earnings Drop

CEO Zetsche expresses optimism about fourth quarter.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.25, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche expressed optimism about the fourth quarter.

Daimler Group earnings declined by 26% during the third quarter as earnings before interest and taxes dropped to 2.5 billion euros from the 3.4 billion posted in the third quarter of 2017.

Daimler’s net earnings of 1.76 billion euros were significantly below the prior-year figure of 2.23 billion euros but Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said the outlook for the balance of the year was encouraging.

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“The automotive industry and thus also Daimler are still in a very challenging environment. The continued high demand from our customers makes us confident for the fourth quarter,” Zetsche said. (more…)

Daimler Cuts Earnings Estimates as Outlook Gets Tougher

Mercedes-Benz Cars saw earnings slip, driving new forecast.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.19, 2018

Sales of the Mercedes-Benz GLE are off this year as are other models, causing Daimler to revise its earnings forecast downward.

Daimler AG trimmed its earnings outlook for 2018, blaming the rising cost of fines and litigation over the emissions from the company’s diesel engines and a sharp reduction in the earnings by Mercedes-Benz Cars for the expected decline.

“The main factor is an increase in expected expenses in connection with ongoing governmental proceedings and measures in various regions with regard to Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles,” said as the company revised its financial guidance.

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“Furthermore, against the backdrop of a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice, provisions have been recognized for the potential need to take action on certain vehicles still operating with the previously used refrigerant R134a,” the company said. (more…)

Shake-Up at Daimler Takes Zetsche Closer to Retirement

Ola Kaellenius set to become first non-German ever to run the 132-year-old company.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Sep.26, 2018

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche - shown at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show with Arnold Schwarzenegger after debuting the new G-Class SUV.

Dieter Zetsche, the CEO of Daimler AG, will be moving up, and a step closer to retirement next year when he assumes the job of chairman of the German manufacturer’s Supervisory Board.

Easily recognizable with his brush mustache, Zetsche will turn 66 as he hands day-to-day control over to Ola Kaellenius, currently the director of vehicle development for the Mercedes-Benz brand. A 49-year-old Swede, Kaellenius will become the first non-German to head the company since it was founded 132 years ago.

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“In Ola Kaellenius, we are appointing a recognized, internationally experienced and successful Daimler executive,” said current Daimler Chairman Manfred Bischoff in a statement, adding that “With Dieter Zetsche’s intended appointment as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, we are ensuring continuity for the sustained success of Daimler AG.”

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With New EQC, Mercedes-Benz Goes All-In on All-Electric

“We are flipping the switch,” says CEO Zetsche, with new Tesla challenger - and more to come.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Sep.04, 2018

The new Mercedes-Benz EQ features a pair of electric motors producing up to 402 hp.

Mercedes-Benz is “flipping the switch,” Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche said Tuesday as he pulled the covers off the new EQC, the German brand’s new, long-range electric crossover.

The first entry from the all-new EQ sub-brand, the compact CUV won’t be alone for long, with Mercedes developing a wide range of battery-electric vehicles set to come to market by the middle of the coming decade, including the smaller EQA due out next year. Along with all-electric offerings in the works from brands as diverse as Audi, Infiniti, Volkswagen and Volvo, they pose a potentially  existential threat to Tesla, according to many industry analysts.

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“With the EQC – the first fully electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz – we are flipping the switch,” said Zetsche, during the EQC debut in Stockholm. “Electric drive is a major component in the mobility of the future. We are therefore investing more than ten billion euros in the expansion of our EQ model portfolio, and more than one billion euros in global battery production.”

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Daimler AG Pushing Forward on Restructuring Plans

Company's move to split into three units provides more freedom.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jul.26, 2018

Daimler AG is splitting into three separate entities to improve efficiency and profitability.

Daimler AG took another step toward a restructuring aimed at giving its three key operating units – cars, trucks and financial services – greater freedom and flexibility.

The plan approved by the company’s supervisory board this week creates three new operating companies while the parent company, Daimler AG, retains oversight and governance, according to the company’s announcement.

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“The new structure positions Daimler to tackle the rapid pace of change in the mobility sector and the corresponding strategic challenges. Legally independent divisions will sharpen our focus on the future success of the business.” Manfred Bischoff, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG. (more…)

Daimler AG Lowers Earnings Guidance Due to Trade Tensions

Retaliatory measures in China and Europe has Daimler concerned.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jun.26, 2018

Mercedes-Benz builds SUVs at its plant in Vance, Alabama, that are shipped to China. The tariffs on those are expected to rise, cutting sales.

The rising risk of a global trade war has prompted Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes-Benz Cars, to reduce its earnings guidance for 2018.

Daimler said has “made a new assessment of the earnings” potential for the year 2018 and reduced its earnings guidance for the full year because of the uncertainty surrounding trade.

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“From today’s perspective, the decisive factor is that, at Mercedes-Benz Cars, fewer than expected SUV sales and higher than expected costs – not completely passed on to the customers – must be assumed because of increased import tariffs for U.S. vehicles into the Chinese market,” Daimler said in its new guidance.  (more…)

Freightliner Takes Aim at Tesla with Two Big EV Semis and a New E-Mobility Center

Daimler’s U.S. truck division will put first 30 into field tests this year.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jun.07, 2018

The new Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 semis.

Freightliner, the U.S.-based truck subsidiary of Daimler AG, is taking direct aim at Tesla with the debut of two new battery-powered semis that it plans to begin fleet testing later this year.

The eCascadia and eM2 join a range of smaller delivery trucks that Freightliner and other Daimler truck brands have been rolling out over the last couple years. A number of major freight and delivery companies, ranging from UPS to PepsiCo, have expressed interest in the clean, fuel-efficient technology. That has drawn a number of vehicle manufacturers into the emerging field, including Volvo AB and Volkswagen AG, as well as Freightliner and Tesla.

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Daimler also plans to set up a new Automated Research and Development Center near Freightliner’s headquarters in Portland, as well as a new E-Mobility Group to help share technologies among its various truck brands.

“We are the undisputed global leader of the trucking industry and we intend to remain in that position with electric trucks and buses,” Daimler Trucks chief Martin Daum said in a statement.

That was echoed in a comment by Roger Nielsen, the president of Daimler Trucks North America, that took a clear shot at Tesla, a company that has not only never built a truck before but which has had major trouble meeting production targets and quality goals for its passenger vehicles. But it also underscored the fact that Daimler is taking Tesla’s imminent arrival in the truck market as seriously is it is the California company’s electric passenger car line-up.

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