Daimler, Mercedes, Mercedes-Benz, Automotive trends, Auto industry trends, Automotive market research, Automotive market analysis, auto industry news

Daimler is a German OEM that sells cars, commercial vehicles and heavy trucks under the following brands: Mercedes-Benz and Smart. This page contains research on Daimler's activities and strategy.

Source: Company Reports, Ad Punctum Analysis

Source: Company Reports, Ad Punctum Analysis

Automotive trends, Auto industry trends, Automotive market research, Automotive market analysis, auto industry news

2019

October

Q3 2019 Earnings

  • Delivered 590,514 cars in Q3 2019, a 12.2% increase on a year-over-year basis. On a year to date basis, sales have only just started to climb above 2018’s level, so the quarterly figure represents a significant acceleration. (Daimler)

September

  • Said that after agreeing a €870 million fine, German prosecutors had closed the case against Daimler for irregularities in vehicle certification. Daimler had already made a provision for the fine. (Daimler)
  • Daimler’s sales team is experimenting with ways to remove incentives. (Autocar)
  • Daimler’s development chief gave an interview in which he suggested that the firm was not planning to create any brand new engines after the generation being currently rolled out (although he did not rule out updating them, or even reversing course at some point). (Auto Motor Und Sport)
  • Daimler trucks will use batteries supplied by CATL. (CATL)
  • CEO Källenius said that meeting 2020 / 2021 CO2 targets would be a significant challenge, but admitted that the brand has “all the right vehicles” to meet targets, indicating that the company will incentivise customers to buy more economical models if they are proving reluctant, rather than paying fines. (Reuters)
  • Showed the EQS concept, previewing the next-generation S-Class and a likely all-electric derivative. (Daimler)
  • Around one in seven S-Class models sold are the highest Maybach trim level. (Daimler)
  • Daimler’s AMG tuning division has started work on the first purpose-built all electric models. (Autocar)
  • Will buy batteries from Farasis Energy’s new German factory. (Reuters)
  • Daimler’s CEO thinks flying taxis will help with traffic congestion in cities. (Handelsblatt)
  • German media speculated about the reason behind loads of Daimler vehicles stored on a disused airfield. Daimler said it was all part and parcel of normal business. (FAZ)
  • The CEO of Daimler Trucks has started a podcast. (Daimler)

August

  • Rumoured to be planning local manufacture of Mercedes trucks in China. (Reuters)
  • Reportedly took longer to solve GLE launch problems than anticipated because specialist trouble shooters sent over from Germany had problems gaining work permits, but has now largely got on top of things. (Handelsblatt)
  • Working with BAIC on creating stationary storage with used batteries from electric cars. (Daimler)
  • Rumoured to be planning a major reveal of the all-electric EVA 2 platform at Frankfurt. (Handelsblatt)

July

  • Recently departed former CEO Zetsche said that engines are now less of a differentiator, but that there remain “lots of engineering proof points” where commoditisation would harm brands. (Top Gear)
  • Invested in car price comparison site Carwow. (The Times)
  • Sources say that Daimler plans to drop the Nissan-based X-Class pickup truck. (Automotive News)
  • Held a press briefing about Mercedes’s forward-looking retail strategy which bundled together several separate prior announcements into an over-arching explanation of the approach. (Daimler)
  • BMW and Daimler finalised an (already announced) agreement to jointly develop L4 self-driving systems (i.e. the owner doesn’t need to concentrate, but the car may only be capable in a limited number of environments). The two companies will pool a team of 1,200 development engineers and hope to launch the first products in 2024. (Daimler)
  • Spent €50 million on a new electromagnetic compatibility testing centre. (Daimler)

Q2 2019 Earnings

  • Sold 607,126 globally cars in Q2 2019, a drop of (3)% on prior year. (Daimler)
  • Issued a profit warning for Q2 2019, having only just issued a profit warning a few weeks ago, saying it had lost €(1.6) billion, down from a profit of €2.6 billion last year. Daimler blamed higher recall costs, likely fines relating to diesel vehicles and a mysterious product planning decision concerning vans. (Daimler)
  • Issued a profit warning saying that Group EBIT in 2019 would not be higher than the previous year, blaming a “high three digit million” euro cost for actions related to diesel vehicles. (Daimler)

June

  • Ordered to recall 60,000 diesel powered vehicles by German regulators because of claimed defeat devices. Daimler maintains that it hasn’t done anything wrong. (Reuters)
  • Signed an MoU for an Egyptian assembly plant with the national government. There will also be an, as yet unnamed, local partner involved. (Daimler)
  • Will start marketing the China-only Denza brand, created in collaboration with BYD, through Mercedes-Benz dealers in China in a bid to increase demand. (China Daily)
  • Adding a new city to its US subscription scheme pilot, and a new tier for AMG models. (TechCrunch)
  • The CEO of Torc Robotics -- in which Daimler recently took a majority stake -- believes autonomous trucks will develop more quickly than robotaxis over the next decade, with the first applications on daily long haul routes of 300 miles or so. (Trucking Info)

May

  • Says that it will cost more than €500 million, and take up to ten years, to develop self-driving trucks that can operate within geo-fenced areas. Daimler sees the US as the most lucrative initial market. (Daimler)
  • Opening a new factory making truck cabins in Russia. (Daimler)
  • The BMW / Daimler mobility joint venture acquired Validated, a service for companies to subsidise travel costs for employees and customers. (Validated)
  • Following rumours that he might be planning to reduce Daimler’s involvement with Renault and Nissan, incoming CEO Källenius said “the intensity of cooperations will increase” as the company battles against rising product costs associated with electric cars. (Economic Times of India)
  • Reorganised the financial services executive team to give more prominence to mobility. (Daimler)
  • Announced that by 2039 Daimler wants all of the cars it sells to be either battery electric or a plug-in hybrid. Daimler says that by 2030, these cars will be more than 50% of the mix. (Daimler)
  • Outgoing CEO Zetsche backs the German automakers to stay ahead of the competition saying “for the past 40 years I have heard that German manufacturers have missed all the important trends”. (Economic Times of India)
  • EQC production began in Bremen, Germany. (Daimler)
  • Daimler’s Chinese joint venture partner BAIC is said to want a 5% stake in the German firm. (Reuters)

April

  • A research project Daimler collaborated on has concluded that next-generation metal additive printing processes will reduce costs by around 50%. (Daimler)
  • Pulling the Smart brand from North America at the end of 2019 because it doesn’t see much demand for very small cars in the market, especially not expensive all-electric ones. (CNBC)
  • New CEO Kallenius reportedly plans to save an incremental €6 billion and set the company on a course to be CO2 neutral by 2040. The relationship with Renault-Nissan is rumoured to be on the chopping block. (Manager Magazin)
  • Hopes that van production in Russia will soon restart at the GAZ site after GAZ’s sanction-hit controlling shareholder said he was ready to reduce his stake in the firm. (Reuters)
  • Invested in battery developer Sila Nanotechnologies. (Sila)
  • Confirmed earlier rumours that a compact all-electric SUV called the EQB will launch in 2021, with a conventionally powered cousin, the GLB, on sale at the end of this year. (Reuters)
  • German newspaper reports said that authorities had discovered defeat devices on GLK SUVs fitted with diesel engines but that the software had then been changed to remove the functionality. (Bloomberg)
  • Celebrated the opening of the Moscow plant. (Daimler)
  • CEO Zetsche drew a parallel between the safety critical systems on aircraft and emerging driver assistance, and full self-driving technologies in cars. (Reuters)
  • Will add start producing the GLC SUV at the Sindelfingen, Germany plant from 2022 onwards, potentially depriving Valmet of the volume. (Daimler)
  • Accused by the EU of breaking competition rules by discussing emissions technologies with BMW and VW Group. Daimler expects that, as the original whistle-blower, it will not be fined. (Reuters)
  • The rumoured talks between BMW and Daimler to share electric vehicle technology are apparently concentrated on delivering an affordable electric car in China. (Reuters)

Q1 2019 Earnings

  • Sold 587,921 units in Q1 2019, a drop of (5.9)% from a year earlier. (Daimler)
  • Released financial results for Q1 2019. Revenue of €39.7 billion was very slightly lower than prior year but profit of €2.8 billion was (15)% worse. There was a cashflow hit of €(2) billion relating to problems with the GLE, Nissan built vehicles and commercial vehicles -- Daimler says these will unwind over an extended period. The firm still hopes to hit full year financial targets. (Daimler)

March

  • Formed a joint venture with Geely that will own the Smart brand. Production will be based in China at a new factory that will start building cars in 2022. Daimler implied that the Hambach plant in France will only produce Mercedes cars in future. (Daimler)
  • Aiming to save 50% of travel costs in the latest austerity drive, blaming a relaxation in approval levels for an explosion in spending. (Handelsblatt)
  • Daimler Trucks purchased a majority stake in autonomous driving developer Torc Robotics. Daimler will continue working on proprietary self-driving software, and so will Torc. (Daimler)
  • BMW and Daimler are said to be discussing a 500,000 annual volume target for a shared electric vehicle platform that would support small cars with a sub-€30,000 price point. (Automotive News)
  • Daimler sources suggested that the Smart brand could come under intense scrutiny from new CEO Källenius once he gets his feet under the table. (Handelsblatt)
  • Reportedly looking into building a bigger stake in Chinese joint venture partner BAIC. (Reuters)
  • Wants to develop in-car games for passengers. Daimler appears to believe that gaming offerings from phones, tablets and consoles cannot fully leverage the experience of sitting in a car, and a bespoke solution could do better. (Daimler)
  • Mercedes’s performance sub-brand AMG will have plug-in versions of all products, ruling out 48V mild hybirds because emissions savings are too small. (Autocar)
  • BMW and Daimler are rumoured to be in talks to share platforms for small and mid-size vehicles, believing that each could save around €1 billion per year by pooling efforts. The sources talk of an “electric first” approach, indicating that it may not be for purely electric products. (Reuters)
  • Incoming CEO Kaellenius is open to sharing battery cell design with other companies if it suited Daimler’s vehicles and was cost effective. (Reuters)
  • Unveiled an all-electric V-Class people mover with a 100 kWh battery. (Daimler)

February

  • Created a blockchain-based prototype sourcing ledger that can track materials across multiple stages of product creation and certify their origin. (Daimler)
  • Agreed to pool self-driving technology efforts with BMW, but only for SAE Level 3 and 4, aiming to release technology in the mid-2020s. The parties will continue with individual efforts on SAE Level 5 technologies, but remain open to discussion on sharing those too. (Daimler)
  • Scheduling down days at the Vitoria plant due to reduced demand for diesel vehicles. (Europa Press)
  • Daimler Buses acquired a 5.25% stake in fleet management software company IVU. (Daimler)
  • Will reportedly only be able to produce EQC in large production numbers from November 2019 onwards, with some “VIP” customers getting their vehicles in June. (Golem)
  • BMW and Daimler’s mobility joint venture will be five different services, all branded as [something] NOW: Reach Now will be multimodal travel; Free Now is for ride hailing; Share, Charge and Park Now services are self-explanatory. Emails have already been sent out to service users explaining the change in branding to them. The partners plan to invest €1 billion in the joint venture. (Daimler)
  • Recruited a 200-strong team of software developers over the past 18 months to create in car experiences. (Daimler)
  • Kicked off production of the second generation CLA at the Kecskemét, Hungary, plant. (Daimler)
  • Appointed a new CFO, Harald Wilhelm, who joins from Airbus. (Daimler)
  • CEO Zetsche said the EQC was sold out for 2019, and potentially all of 2020. (Welt)
  • Continued to stress that the firm intends to meet EU 2020 and 2021 CO2 emissions targets. Daimler says that in 2019, fleet average emissions won’t improve that much but in 2020 the benefit of large numbers of PHEVs and battery electric vehicles will kick in. (Daimler)
  • Production problems at the plant in Mexico are rumoured to be so bad that full year A-Class production could miss targets by (20)%. (Handelsblatt)
  • Outgoing CEO Zetsche said that Daimler and Geely are discussing a broader cooperation, but declined to give any specific details. (Reuters)
  • Mercedes-Benz and electricity supplier TenneT declared an experimental 1MW stationary storage to be a success and will now attempt to develop a commercial proposition. (Daimler)
  • Outgoing CEO Zetsche suggested that a conversion to electric cars would mean demand for labour increased rather than reduced. (Handelsblatt)

January

  • Unveiled a mild facelift for the V-Class. (Daimler)
  • Building a new factory for batteries in Poland on the site of a newly-launched engine plant. (Daimler)
  • Selling its share in electric motor JV EM-motive to partner Bosch. (Bosch)
  • Daimler believes that Chinese companies are more advanced than US counterparts in “many areas” of digital technology and connectivity. (Reuters)
  • Reportedly planning to name the BMW-Daimler mobility joint venture “Jurbey”. (The Drive)
  • Echoing earlier press releases by VW trumpeting their commitment to electrification, Daimler said it had placed orders for €20 billion of battery cells. It also wants suppliers to become more flexible to changes in demand between internal combustion engine and electric vehicles and make greater cost reductions. (Daimler)
  • Rumoured to be working on a smaller all-electric SUV, possibly to be badged EQB that will be similar to the yet-to-be-launched GLB. (Autocar)
  • Will change the metrics of financial guidance and also re-calibrate the meaning of certain terms used. (Daimler)
  • Secret talks between BMW and Daimler are rumoured to cover joint battery purchasing from CATL and a shared basis for smaller cars (e.g. A/B Class and 1/2 Series). Apparently the BMW team are still smarting from Daimler’s whistle-blowing on a engine technology talking-shop which could yet see BMW pay hefty fines. Autonomous vehicle technology is also believed to be under discussion but a pre-existing choice of partners (MobilEye for BMW, Bosch for Daimler) is making each partner worrying about losing ground. (Handelsblatt)
  • Planning a new assembly plant in Egypt with a joint venture partner. (Daimler)
  • Spending half a billion euros on automated truck technologies and intends to develop level 4 (substantial eyes off but bound by geography and environmental conditions) after mastering level 2 because in Daimler’s view the technology cost of level 3 brings insufficient benefit to operators. (Daimler)
  • Incoming CEO Kallenius said he is opening to sharing components and technologies with other companies but that is something is key to the brand he wants Daimler to go it alone. (Bloomberg)
  • Renaming the NuCellSys fuel cell subsidiary to Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell. (Daimler)

2018

FY & Q4 2018 Earnings

  • Reported Q4 and full year 2018 financial results. Full year revenue of €167 billion rose 2% from 2017 but EBIT of €11.1 billion, down (22)%. Daimler said that profits would be under pressure in 2019 because of negative economic headwinds and the need to maintain product spending. (Daimler)
  • Sold 2.44 million cars in 2018, a 0.9% increase on 2017. Whilst BMW said it was the largest premium manufacturer, Daimler claimed the brand specific crown for itself (basically, because Mini sells far more than Smart). (Daimler)
  • Released the sustainability report for 2018. (Daimler)

December

  • Received regulatory approval for the mobility joint venture with BMW. (BMW)
  • Dropping prices in China for US-built vehicles after import tariffs were reduced. (Handelsblatt)
  • Reportedly in talks with BMW on a component sharing agreement that will potentially cover batteries, autonomous driving technology and vehicle platforms. (Bloomberg)
  • Said it has signed up for battery purchases worth €20 billion and will have 130 electrified vehicles (including 48V) on sale by 2022. Daimler reiterated the 15% - 25% mix of total sales target for Mercedes by 2025. (Daimler)
  • Will let third party repairers access remote diagnostics from Mercedes vehicles, but only where the owner has given permission and only for the types of data Mercedes deems relevant. (Daimler)
  • Daimler and BMW’s joint mobility company will start operations in 2019, later than planned, because talks with US regulators are not yet complete. Daimler said this will adversely affect the financial division’s 2018 profits because the partnership will allow Daimler to recognise a higher valuation on its books, but overall profits will be okay. (Daimler)
  • Reportedly working on a plan to take a majority share in the Chinese joint venture it runs with BAIC by increasing its stake from 49% to 65%. (Reuters)

November

  • Invested in on-demand bus service Rally. (Rally)
  • Opening a second Chinese R&D centre in 2020 at a cost of around €150 million. (Daimler)
  • Launched the GLC F-Cell fuel cell vehicle. Daimler touted the larger-than-normal battery which allows an electric only range of about 30 miles if the vehicle has been plugged in to charge. (Daimler)
  • Daimler will launch a driverless ride hailing pilot in San José, California in partnership with Bosch. The service will use modified S-Class limousines and be offered to “a selected user community”. (Daimler)
  • The EU approved the merger of BMW and Daimler’s car sharing assets, subject to measures to protect competition in six cities. (Reuters)
  • Said that new facilities at the Kamenz, Germany battery plant were ready to produce parts for EQC. (Daimler)

October

  • As rumoured, Daimler and Geely formed a “premium ride-hailing” joint venture that will use Mercedes-Benz cars, and in time possibly some of Geely’s offerings, for on-demand travel in Chinese cities. It isn’t yet clear how the service will integrate with Geely’s existing CaoCao ride hailing venture. (Daimler)
  • CEO Zetsche said he wouldn’t rule out a future collaboration with Tesla, despite having sold all Daimler’s shareholding. Daimler’s PR said he was talking in hypothetical terms. (Reuters)
  • Launched a new range of prams featuring AMG-inspired wheels. Although Daimler declined to comment on specific volume and profit expectations, it appears the benefit of the new product was already taken into account in the company’s recent profit warning. (Daimler)
  • Opened a new technology centre for the Truck and Bus group in Lisbon, Portugal. (Daimler)
  • Said that it might make some money on electric cars. (Seeking Alpha)
  • Looking at alternative production locations that would reduce the effect of tariffs on vehicles shipped from the USA to China but believes it is too early to say anything about what it might do. (Reuters)
  • Under investigation from US regulators for the way in which it handles recalls (they think: too slowly). (Bloomberg)
  • Investing in Soul Machines, a developer of digital avatars. (Reseller)
  • Reportedly in talks with Geely to create a Chinese joint venture offering car sharing and ride hailing. (Just Auto)
  • Daimler’s CFO will leave by the end of 2019, having chosen not to renew his contract. (Daimler)
  • Started construction of its previously announced battery plant in Alabama, USA. (Daimler)

Q3 2018 Financial Results

  • Announced Q3 2018 financial results. Revenue of €40.2 billion was down (1)% on a year-over-year basis, EBIT of €2.5 billion was down (27)% (previously declared). Daimler called the business environment “volatile”. (Daimler)
  • Released preliminary financial results for Q3 2018 because profits were lower than expected (about €1 billion lower than the prior year). The blame was placed on lower than expected sales of vans, potential recall costs over air conditioning refrigerants and “governmental proceedings and measures” related to diesel vehicles. (Daimler)
  • Sold 1,715,087 units in Q3 2018, down (0.1)% on Q3 2017. (Daimler)

September

  • Announced that Ola Källenius will become CEO and head of Mercedes-Benz cars in 2019 with Dieter Zetsche taking a two year “cooling off” period and then returning as chairman in 2021. (Daimler)
  • Daimler’s new CEO elect is not in the habit of hugging people. (Handelsblatt)
  • Co-led a $155 million funding round in electric bus maker Proterra. BMW and GM are existing investors. (ProTerra)
  • The EU launched a formal investigation into whether BMW, Daimler and VW colluded to restrict competition in emissions technology. (Economic Times of India)
  • Daimler will retain its Aston Martin stake after the brand’s IPO for at least 12 months. (Aston Martin)
  • Unveiled a new configurable van concept (Vision Urbanetic). It features a running platform with different modules that can be quickly swapped on and off to change roles, for instance between cargo and people movement. (Daimler)
  • Concluded the purchase of a 20% stake in VW’s used car sales platform HeyCar. (VW)
  • Suspended production in South Carolina, USA, because of Hurricane Florence. (Bloomberg)
  • Launched production of the Sprinter in a new facility that will employ 1,300 workers once capacity has fully ramped up by 2020. The new facility is said to have cost $500 million. Amazon was announced as a customer for 20,000 vans for use by its delivery agents. For context, annual volume of the van in the US has been about 26,000 units. (Daimler)
  • Unveiled the production version of the EQC all-electric SUV ahead of sales starting in 2019. (Daimler)
  • CEO Zetsche said battery electric vehicle sales in 2025 were now considered more likely to be at the lower end of the company’s 15% to 25% of total expectation, based on new bottom-up analysis. (Automotive News)
  • CEO Zetsche said the company was spending more than the intended €10 billion on electric vehicles but declined to quantify the overrun. (Bloomberg)
  • Said it has received 2,000 pre-orders for the EQC in Norway. (Reuters)

August

  • Said that Daimler’s various mobility brands (excluding companies where Daimler has a small shareholding) have a combined 24.4 million customers. (Daimler)
  • StreetScooter revealed that Daimler’s benchmarking team had posed as representatives of a nursing home to get hold of a unit for evaluation. (Der Spiegel)
  • Reportedly looking at a deal to take a 20% stake in VW’s online used car platform HeyCar. (Handelsblatt)
  • Trademarked “AMY” branding in relation to autonomous driving technology. (The Drive)
  • Said it had ceased activities in Iran. (Reuters)
  • Reportedly in talks with BAIC to start making electric Smart cars in China. (Bloomberg)

July

  • Joined a slew of transparency groups to promote ethical sourcing of raw materials. (Daimler)
  • Moovel said it has five million users, with two million joining in the past 12 months. (Daimler)
  • Car2Go now has a fleet of 14,000 vehicles (of which 10% are electric). In the past six months, 90 million km have been covered by the scheme’s 3.3 million users. (Daimler)
  • Hopes to have completed the legal steps necessary for its previously announced plan to separate the car and truck businesses by late 2019. Daimler will also rename financial services as Daimler Mobility. (Daimler)
  • Obtained employee agreement to the separation of its businesses by giving an employment guarantee that lasts until 2029 and a profit sharing agreement in place until 2025. The extensions will only come into force if Daimler shareholders approve the final split once all the legal arrangements are completed. (Daimler)
  • Unveiled the European version of the A-Class sedan, saying it will be on sale by the end of the year. (Daimler)
  • Signed a new agreement with Baidu that deepens the autonomous technology partnership and will see Baidu’s services integrated into Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system. (Daimler)
  • Announced a new five year €11 billion credit line, which can potentially be extended to 2025. This replaces Daimler’s previous €9 billion facility. (Daimler)
  • Adding battery production to vehicle plants in Sindelfingen and Untertuerkheim. (Reuters)
  • Daimler’s autonomous vehicle program will be underpinned by Nvidia electronics. (Daimler)
  • The IG Metall union announced an agreement to improve the terms for temporary Daimler employees sourced from the Dekra agency at the Rastatt plant that creates a path to guaranteed employment. (IG Metall)
  • Will run a pilot autonomous ride hailing service in San Francisco, starting in 2019, in partnership with Bosch. The scheme will also integrate car sharing and multi-modal services. (Daimler)
  • Halted production of a diesel engine for heavy trucks (only on sale outside Europe) because real world emissions could exceed certified test results. (Bloomberg)
  • Reportedly ended a joint project with Nissan’s Infiniti brand to produce a luxury compact car. (Automotive News)

Q2 2018 Financial Results

  • Reported financial results for Q2 2018. Revenue of €40.8 billion was (1)% lower than Q2 2017. EBIT of €2.6 billion dropped (30)% YoY. Daimler’s 2018 full year guidance was reduced with the challenges of WLTP singled out as a contributing factor as the company believes customers will switch to lower margin units than wait for the vehicle they wanted -- the company wasn’t clear whether this was because they will order different vehicles or because it will have to pay incremental variable marketing to keep the sale. (Daimler)
  • Sold 594,528 vehicles in Q2 2018, the strongest ever quarterly performance and an increase of 1.9% on the same period a year earlier. (Daimler)
  • Issued a profit warning for full year 2018, blaming likely tariffs on US-built vehicles imported into China (with the expectation that both unit sales and margins would suffer). The impact of failing to certify all vehicles under WLTP before the new regulations take effect and recall costs were also factors. (Daimler)

June

  • Investing €600 million in South Africa to produce the next generation C Class and increase capacity. (Daimler)
  • Collaborating with Xilinx on in-car artificial intelligence. (Xilinx)
  • Recalled almost 775,000 vehicles across Europe to correct disputed emissions control software without admitting wrongdoing. (BBC)
  • German media reporting of the diesel recall took aim at Daimler CEO Zetsche, criticising both his management approach and the way he had conducted discussions with the German government. (Handelsblatt)
  • Ford and Daimler are ending their fuel cell development joint venture. (Reuters)
  • Will invest €1 billion to build an additional car plant at Kecskemét in Hungary, saying the new factory will be fully flexible and have capability to produce a range of drivetrains and vehicle types on a single line. (Daimler)
  • Daimler Trucks held a capital markets day where the company promised to boost profitability and create an electric truck division which will offer a range of large electric commercial vehicles, up to and including a Tesla Semi-fighter called the Freightliner eCascadia. (Daimler)

May

  • Invested in ride hailing firm Taxify as part of a $175 million round. (TechCrunch)
  • German ministers are said to have threatened multi-billion euro fines in face to face meetings with company executives unless Daimler can show it acted improperly. (Handelsblatt)
  • Said it had been told to recall Vito vans by the Gernan regulator but that it was disputing the basis of the order and would go to court if necessary. (Daimler)
  • Reportedly under investigation for emissions violations on other vehicles that use the Vito’s small diesel engine shared with Renault; the company may be forced to recall up to 600,000 vehicles. (Der Spiegel)
  • Investing €500 million in the Hambach, France, plant to produce a new generation of all-electric Smart brand cars and a new compact Mercedes EQ model. (Daimler)
  • Production at the Alabama, US plant was disrupted for several days by the fire at Meridian Magnesium. (Reuters)
  • Unveiled a new range of smartphone covers and computer bags. Daimler refused to release profit or market share objectives for the new products. (Daimler)
  • Became an investor in SoftBank’s Vision Fund. (Deal Street Asia)
  • Released pictures of test mules for the EQC all-electric SUV, saying that it had around 200 vehicles under test ahead of the 2019 launch date. (Daimler)
  • Ceasing production of home storage batteries, saying that in future it will offer third party products more suited to stationary storage applications. Daimler intends to continue to supply used vehicle batteries for industrial storage units. (Manager Magazin)
  • CEO Zetsche said the company has plans in place to resist a hostile takeover (whether by Geely or anyone else) but that the scenario was “theoretical”. (Automotive News)

April

  • Ford C-Suite executives will have been choking on their cognac reading page 26 of Daimler’s Q1 earnings presentation which sported a near philosophically identical core-to-new-business relationship to Ford’s short-lived “infinity” symbol (as revenge, Ford might rip off slide 34 to explain their modular platform strategy -- basically all modules across all platforms). (Daimler)
  • BAIC Motor will raise $422 million through a sale of new shares. Daimler’s stake will be reduced from 10.08% to 9.55%. (Economic Times of India)
  • Reportedly interested in selling powertrain to Volvo and may even be open to buying a small stake in the company to show willingness to work with Geely. (Manager Magazin)
  • Images of the Maybach SUV (a likely Bentayaga rival) leaked. (Autocar)
  • BMW said it does not “exclude other partners” from the mobility joint venture with Daimler. (Manager Magazin)
  • Mercedes executives said the brand is planning an all-electric luxury car at the same level as the S-Class. (Autocar)
  • Said that car sharing is “decisive” in the take-up of electric vehicles. (Daimler)
  • Daimler’s CEO believes that customers are “still showing confidence” in diesel and that recent commentary about the technology’s decline is overblown. (Autocar)
  • Exploring potential collaborations with new shareholder Geely. (Market Watch)

Q1 2018 Financial Results

  • Q1 2018 revenue of €39.8 billion was up 3% versus the prior year (damped by exchange). Group EBIT of €3.3 billion was down versus prior year which Daimler attributed to no-recurring special items.

March

  • Officially announced the merger of BMW and Daimler’s mobility operations into a new company, with both holding a 50% share. Services will cover multimodal; car sharing; ride hailing; parking and charging. However, a number of investments by both companies into these areas were not mentioned by name so it appears as though both will continue to invest in start-ups that interest them. (BMW)
  • The China-specific Denza brand (a JV with BYD) launched the updated Denza 500 BEV with a claimed range of around 500 km. (Daimler)
  • The long-rumoured mobility asset pooling between BMW and Daimler could have a larger scope than previously anticipated and could include Daimler’s stake in ride hailing firm mytaxi. (Manager Magazin)
  • Will invest, along with a joint venture partner, to expand facilities in Thailand to produce electrified vehicles and batteries. (Daimler)
  • Purchased a 3.93% stake in Beijing Electric Vehicle (BJEV), a subsidiary of Chinese partner BAIC. (Daimler)
  • Trialling a new flexible leasing scheme named Mercedes Me Flexperience. Users pay a flat rate covering all costs except fuel for up to 36,000 per year. Through the offering, they can change cars 11 times throughout the year and arrange a swap with their existing vehicle via a smartphone app. (Daimler)
  • Expects that electric vehicle batteries will have far higher concentrations of nickel to reduce dependence on cobalt. Executives talked about nickel:manganes:cobalt mix moving from 6:2:2 to 9:0.5:0.5. (Reuters)
  • S-Class Maybach models will get headlights that project images onto the ground in front of the vehicle and can selectively light up objects (e.g. casting light on a pedestrian’s body but not shining light into their eyes). (Engadget)
  • Unveiled a range of plug in hybrid models that use diesel powertrains. (Daimler)
  • Invested in data analytics company Anagog. (Anagog)
  • Announced a new factory in Beijing, China with existing JV partner BAIC. (Daimler)
  • Announced a full takeover of Car2Go, buying Europcar’s 20% stake -- and echoing BMW’s recent move to buy out Sixt from its car sharing service. (Daimler)
  • Demonstrated an internally-created cryptocurrency called Mobicoins. In Daimler’s concept, the coins were earned through eco-friendly driving -- a loyalty card fit for the 21st century? (Journal Auto)
  • Unveiled the new CLS, featuring a V6 engine with 48V replacing a V8 engine in the prior model. Mercedes say that the change has reduced CO2 by around 23% whilst preserving power. (Daimler)
  • Daimler’s Financial Services division is working on a chatbot with a computer-generated image of a person to act as a concierge for future car purchases and other services. At present, a fair bit of development is still required (as Daimler’s demonstration video attests). (Daimler)

February

  • Daimler’s Moovel subsidiary will pilot an on-demand shuttle service in Germany. (Daimler)
  • Confirmed that Li Shufu of Geely had purchased a 9.7% stake in an announcement that was flattering yet also stressed the company had no plans to changes its partnerships in China. (Daimler)
  • Will not attend the 2019 Detroit show because it believes the CES has become more important. (Bloomberg)
  • Will show the new C-Class and AMG GT at the Geneva show. (Daimler)
  • Rumours US investigators had found emissions test defeating software were denied by Daimler. (Manager Magazin)
  • Launched the new Sprinter, saying that the all-electric eSprinter version would go on sale in 2019. (Daimler)
  • Mercedes-Benz’s VP of strategy said putting self-driving systems in a vehicle with an internal combustion engine “doesn’t make sense” because of the negative impact on fuel economy. (Wired)
  • Came in for criticism in Europe after Mercedes used a Dalai Lama quote on its Instagram feed and then deleted it, fearing uproar in China. (Manager Magazin)
  • Executives said that a series production vehicle with a hybrid architecture based on the Formula One-derived Project One would be available in 2020/21. (Autocar)
  • Launched the new A-Class. The new compact car uses petrol engines developed with Renault and owners can authorise family members to access and drive the car for limited periods using their smartphones -- avoiding having to hand the key over every time. (Daimler)

January

  • Reportedly suffering from supply problems with all-electric version of the Smart ForTwo -- waiting times have apparently increased to a year for a new vehicle. (Manager Magazin)
  • Executives speaking off the record said the long-awaited deal for BMW and Daimler to merge their car sharing units may reach a final agreement next month. The companies will reportedly continue to operate separate brands, pooling technology and back office functions -- BMW’s parking assets will also be part of the agreement. (Reuters)
  • Daimler’s CEO said he could not guarantee the company would meet the 2021 emissions targets set by the EU and may have to pay fines as a result. He said it was Daimler’s intention to comply but worries that customers could make purchasing decisions that throw off the fleet average. (Les Echos)
  • Reportedly paid German dealers €600 per vehicle for each Mercedes-Benz trade-in during 2017 because residual values were far lower than those anticipated by Daimler’s forecast models. (Autohaus)
  • Took a stake of “around ten percent” in what3words, a mapping/location start-up that uses unique three word addresses to cover all locations on earth. The company’s address system will be integrated in Mercedes cars. (Daimler)
  • Car2Go’s 2.97 million users (up 30% on year-end 2016), took 24 million trips in 2017. (Daimler)
  • The proposed separation of the company is reportedly causing tension among top executives. (Manager Magazin)

2017

Full Year 2017 Earnings

  • Reported 2017 full year financial results. Revenue of €164.3 billion was up 7% versus 2016. EBIT of €14.7 billion was up 14%. Daimler expects sales and revenue to increase in 2018 but profits to remain flat. (Daimler)
  • Sold 2,424,369 Mercedes and Smart cars in 2017, an increase of 8.8% on 2016. (Daimler)
  • Sold 401,000 Mercedes-Benz vans in 2017, an increase of around 12 % on a year-over-year basis. The X-Class pick-up deliveries reached 3,300 units since launch in November. (Daimler)

December

  • Acquired a 50% stake in French ride hailing company Chauffeur Privé with the intention of buying the rest of the company by 2019. (Daimler)
  • Will start a dynamic shuttle service in Berlin in partnership with Via and German public transport operator BVG. The initial fleet of 50 vehicles is forecast to eventually reach 300. The service is currently planned to run for two years before an evaluation of its merits will take place. (Via)
  • Said changes to US tax rates would improve 2017 net income by around €1.7 billion and €1 billion after some unrelated offsets were considered. (Daimler)
  • CEO Dieter Zetsche agreed to become the chairman of German holiday travel firm Tui from 1st October 2018 onwards, sparking inevitable speculation about him vacating his position at Daimler earlier than the end of his contract in late 2019. (Manager Magazin)
  • Will build a new office for its 900-strong US financial services staff in Texas. (Daimler)
  • Reorganised its trucks division to give the China market greater prominence. (Daimler)

November

  • Reportedly rebuffed an offer by Geely to buy a stake of between 3% and 5% through a discounted offering of new stock. Daimler’s issue was supposedly the additional shares and it said it would be comfortable with a purchase of existing shares. (NASDAQ)
  • Presented with a large bill by Sixt after tearing down and testing a leased Tesla Model X in violation of the rental agreement. Daimler technicians thought they had done a good job of screwing the car back together but came unstuck when the vehicle’s geographic data showed it pounding the miles at Daimler test sites. Oops. (Handelsblatt)
  • Said that it will launch electric drive in all Mercedes-Benz products. The first product, eVito, launches in 2018 and further products will follow starting in 2019. The eVito will have a range of around 150km and a top speed of up to 120km/h. (Daimler)
  • Has asked employees to submit ideas for new businesses with the aim of identifying 100 million of benefit from the best 15 ideas. It wasn’t clear if this is revenue or profit. (Daimler)
  • Opened a new R&D centre in Tel Aviv, Israel, to work on digital technologies, initially with a staff of 25. (Daimler)
  • Opened a new R&D lab in Seattle that will eventually have 150 employees. (Daimler)
  • Daimler said it was acquiring CINTEO, a German digital services company with around 100 employees, to accelerate digitisation of its marketing, sales and media functions. (Business Review Europe)
  • Daimler’s car sharing service Car2Go published a white paper covering essential conditions for successful fleet operation of autonomous vehicles. (Car2Go)
  • Is working on a pilot project to use automotive fuel cells for stationary power generation. (Daimler)

Q3 Financials (October)

  • Announced financial results for Q3 2017. Sales of 824,000 units were up 9% and revenue of €40.8 billion was up 6% on a year over year basis. Profits fell, EBIT of €3.5 billion was down (14)% and net profit of €2.3 billion was down (17)%. Daimler said that warranty recall costs were a drag on profits. (Daimler)

October

  • Said that its battery storage plant in Hannover was now operational and provided 5MW of flexible storage to the public grid, with a plan to achieve 17.4 MWh of capacity. The facility has two aims: it provides on-demand electricity to the grid and is also used as a “living storage” for batteries that may be called upon to replace those in service. (Enercity)
  • Made a strategic investment in The Mobility House, a company that sells electric vehicle charging equipment and vehicle-to-grid services. (Daimler)
  • Had offices raided by EU officials investigating whether Daimler, VW and BMW created a cartel in powertrain technologies and purchasing. Daimler has claimed whistle-blower status. (Reuters)
  • Announced that it was taking further preparatory steps towards the creation of a three division structure: Daimler financial services; Mercedes-Benz cars and vans; Daimler trucks and buses. The company said that this would cost a “three-digit euro million amount” (Daimler)
  • Showed off a specific use case application of platooning autonomous technology. Mercedes Trucks converted airport snow clearing trucks so that only a lead vehicle needs to be manned and the rest of the group can follow its example. (TechCrunch)
  • Will recall over 1 million vehicles due to problems with airbags. (Manager Magazin)
  • Said that it will invest €600 million in its Brazilian truck operations over the next five years. Daimler believes that the Brazilian truck fleet will soon need en masse replacement. According to the company, almost half of the trucks on the road are more than 20 years old. (Daimler)

September

  • Said that it will begin trials of truck platooning (where several trucks drive behind a lead vehicle in order to minimise air resistance -- the same principle as a peloton in cycling) on public highways in the US. Because of the small gaps between the vehicles, platooning involves automating the driving by connecting all vehicles to the action of the lead driver. (Daimler)
  • Amid concern from employees at the Smart factory in Hambach, France that sales drops are threatening their jobs, Daimler is rumoured to be planning to transfer pilot plant activities to the site, plus make an unspecified Mercedes product there from 2019 onwards. (Les Echos)
  • According to government officials, Daimler is set to open a new logistics hub in Egypt. (Economic Times of India)
  • Daimler has bought Flinc, an on-demand mobility platform. Flinc originally started as a peer-to-peer ridesharing service but then built a white label service for car sharing, used by Opel among others. (Daimler)
  • Said that it would invest $1 billion to launch an EQ-branded SUV at its Alabama, USA plant and build a battery facility nearby. The move will create 600 jobs and see production start at the “beginning of the next decade”. (Daimler)
  • Held a capital markets day where it said that the future outlook was a tougher business environment and that it would be challenged to meet mid-term margin targets, but that it would increase cost saving efforts in an attempt to do so. (Daimler) (CFO presentation here)
  • Daimler’s CEO said that by 2022, electrified versions will be available for all the company’s models. (Reuters)
  • Said it would invest in StoreDot, taking a seat on the board. Daimler hopes to be able to use StoreDot’s fast -charging battery technology in future vans. (Daimler)
  • Said that it by the end of 2017 it would have converted 1,350 workers at its Vitoria, Spain plant to permanent contracts due to the success of the small commercial vehicles produced there. (Europa Press)
  • Announced that it had been the lead investor in a financing round for US peer to peer carsharing service Turo and that as a part of the deal, Daimler’s own peer to peer carsharing service Croove would be folded into Turo’s operations and Turo would enter the German market in 2018. (Daimler)
  • Created a joint venture with on-demand shuttle bus company Via that will see Daimler invest $50 million and licence Via’s technology to launch services in Europe, starting with London, where an on-demand bus service will begin in late 2017. The companies will also work together to develop an optimised Mercedes van for the service. (Via)
  • Will show a concept called EQA at the Frankfurt show that will be Mercedes’s vision of how a shared car might look. (The Verge)

August

  • Showed a new concept vehicle called Smart Vision EQ fortwo. The vehicle shows how Smart’s cars could evolve into driverless pods in future and is similar in many details to the Mini concept unveiled in 2016 (except that the Mini was a mixed-mode manually-driven and autonomous concept). (Daimler)
  • Announced the creation of a division called Lab1886 that will operate four sites globally. The company will invite employees to pitch their ideas to an internal VC-like board that will then select projects for internal incubation. The organisation will also provide support to external companies, such as (flying car start-up) Volocopter. (Daimler)
  • According to Manager Magazin, Daimler is contemplating creating a holding company of three separate entities, with the further possibility of spinning the divisions off at some point in the future. (Manager Magazin)
  • Switching Smart’s line-up to all-electric in the US from 2018 onwards reportedly means that the dealer body will be halved in size -- from 58 to 27 sites. (Autofactil)
  • Said that the Mercedes-Benz truck division has begun using 3D printed parts for rarely-used spare parts made out of plastic. (The Manufacturer)
  • Following the diesel summit, Daimler announced that it had “once again expanded” its package of measures to improve diesel emissions with a four-digit environment bonus for EU4 vehicles and an accelerated introduction of new powertrains (although it wasn’t clear what baseline this was against). (Daimler)
  • Has made an investment of €25 million in flying taxi company Volocopter. (Reuters)
  • Daimler subsidiary Moovel has purchased location sharing app Familionet. (Handelsblatt)

Q2 Financials (July)

  • Reported Q2 2017 financial results. Group EBIT of €3.7 billion was up 15% on a year-over-year basis, with revenues up 7% and unit sales up 8%. (Daimler)

July

  • Will cease production of the electric version of the B Class in the next few months. (Elektrek)
  • Said its Finance arm would have a record second half after reported half-year earnings of more than €1 billion. Daimler said that its mobility services were now being used by 14.5 million customers and had grown 116% on a year-over-year basis (not all of it organic). (Daimler)
  • Participated in the Series B round of funding ($46 million) for Chinese self-driving start-up Momenta. (TechCrunch)
  • Said that it was reviewing its legal structure with a view to providing clearer distinction between its different divisions. The management team said that this was not in preparation for any spin-offs. (Reuters)
  • News emerged suggesting that Daimler reported the alleged cartel first, ahead of VW. (Handelsblatt)
  • Will reportedly cease production of the China-only R-Class in September, with deliveries continuing into 2018. Memo: the vehicle was withdrawn from other markets in 2012/13 and its produced by 3rd party AM General in Indiana, USA. (CCFA)
  • Was allegedly part of a cartel of German car makers under investigation by the EU for possible collusion on technical regulations and component sourcing for items such as retractable roofs and emission control systems. The other participants were BMW and VW Group (Audi, Porsche and VW). According to media reports, Daimler may have partial immunity or relief from fines after coming forward as whistle-blowers. (More…)
  • Offered a voluntary recall of 3 million vehicles, expanding an existing campaign covering about 300,000 cars. In Daimler’s words, nearly all EU5 and EU6 vehicles will have updated software to reduce NOx emissions. The cost will be around €220 million. Daimler said that there would be a significant contribution to reducing NOx emissions from diesel vehicles in cities. (More…)
  • Saw CEO Zetsche heavily criticised in the press after the recall was announced with comments he previously made around VW’s conduct being used as a suggestion of hypocrisy. (More…)
  • Announced that it will build electric powertrain components, including batteries and axles, at its Untertürkheim plant. Employees have been carrying out work-to-rule industrial action due to their future employment concerns and the press release was careful to mention the 250 jobs to be created and say that it offered employees “good prospects in the coming era of electric mobility”. In return, unions agreed to more flexible operating arrangements for the existing factories. (..)
  • Came under fresh scrutiny in Germany amid reports that 1 million vehicles had excessively high emissions (More…)
  • Reached agreement with Chery over their clashing EQ / eQ brands. Daimler owned international rights whereas Chery held trademarks in China. The two companies have now agreed that they will market their products with these similar brands, although no product cooperation is implied. (More…)
  • Announced an investment in and cooperation with CleverShuttle, a company that creates software which lets public transport operators optimise routes depending on point in time passenger demand. (More…)
  • Said that it will make an electric version of the Sprinter van at its Düsseldorf factory. (More…)
  • Released further details of the (previously announced) JV it has formed with BAIC to produce and sell electric vehicles in China. The two partners will invest €655 million. One of the clear targets is to locally produce Mercedes-Benz badged vehicles that use Chinese battery cells. (More…)
  • Reported June sales figures for cars. 221,874 vehicles were sold in June, an increase of 10.1% on a year-over-year basis. Improved sales at Mercedes-Benz more than offset losses at Smart. (More…)
  • Has started a legal case against bearing supplier SKF because of the company’s participation in a cartel. SKF is already being sued by BMW but says its actions had no effect on its customers. (More…)

June

  • Production of E-Class was reported slowed due to the “work to rule” action by workers in Daimlers plant at Untertürkheim, who produce components for the car. (..)
  • Saw works council leaders at its engine factory in Untertürkheim, Germany threaten “work to rule” industrial action starting on 1st July if sufficient job guarantees are not forthcoming. The employees are worried about what Daimler’s stated targets for widespread electrification in the mid-2020s mean for their jobs. (..)
  • The Smart brand will reportedly become electric-only from 2020. (More…)
  • Ride-hailing firm myTaxi said it will buy Romanian company Clever Taxi for an “eight figure” sum. The company is reportedly interested in further acquisitions in Eastern Europe. (More…)
  • Said that it will build a new plant in Russia. The €250 million investment will begin production of E-Class in 2019 and then add other models. The plant will employ around 1,000 people. (More…)
  • Subsidiary Moovel showed a new product that allows public transport operators to create connected payment systems with various types of hardware. This would make it easier to introduce to existing systems -- ride hailing and other services could be added into the ecosystem. (More…)
  • Participated in a fund-raising round for Middle East ride-hailing firm Careem. (..)
  • Reported car sales for May. Mercedes and Smart sales of 205,942 units were up 12.3% year-over-year. Sales increased in all regions except NAFTA. (..)

May

  • Widespread media reporting on Daimler’s quest for US criminal lawyers in anticipation of the company potentially having to defend itself over diesel emissions. (..)
  • Signed an agreement with BAIC over electric vehicles. Daimler will become a minority shareholder in BAIC subsidiary Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. (..)
  • Used a press release to highlight its efforts to build a wider supplier base in the USA. (..)
  • Announced that it has reached agreement with the works council at Rastatt over production of electric vehicles and Industry 4.0 productivity measures. As a result, all 3 German plants will be electric vehicle “centres of competence”. (..)
  • Announced it will be making €1 billion investment in battery production. €500 million of this is a new factory at Kamenz, Germany which will add about 500 jobs. (..)
  • Daimler’s offices were raided by German prosecutors investigating possible misconduct in reporting diesel emissions. The raid was part of a previously announced investigation. (..)
  • There was renewed talk of a merger between car sharing companies DriveNow (BMW) and Car2Go (Daimler). The latest stories have a merger taking place in Q3 2017 and a new brand being established. Rumours of a tie up have circulated since December 2016. BMW’s partner in DriveNow, Sixt, has been openly opposed to the move but BMW reportedly now believes that it can convince Sixt to cooperate. (..)
  • Took a 15% stake in Hong Kong based dealer group LSH Auto International which operates about 200 locations in Asia and Australia. The financial terms were kept confidential. (..)
  • Daimler and BYD will reportedly increase capital in their 50/50 electric car making JV, Shenzhen Denza New Energy by 1 billion yuan. (..)
  • Will reportedly cooperate with Tesla Energy’s rival Vivint to offer a combined solar-roof and battery storage product in Germany. (..)
  • Mercedes will no longer pursue certification for their diesel engines in the USA, based on the very small market share for the technology and the increased difficulty in obtaining regulatory approvals. This affects 2017 and future model years. (..)
  • Launched a platform for e-identity and data services in partnership with HERE, Allianz (an insurance company), Axel Springer (a media company), Deutsche Bank and CORE (a think tank). The service aims to provide a “master key” that will allow people to register across a number of different providers with the same identity. (..)
  • Said that its Car2Go car sharing scheme had seen a significant increase in “cross-border” rentals in Q1 2017 with 33,000 journeys taken by customers visiting from other European countries using the local Car2Go service. (..)
  • The Mercedes brand will open a global digital delivery hub in Lisbon, Portugal. The brand says that Lisbon is “the place to be” for the digital world. (..)
  • Daimler’s Moovel app launched a service in collaboration with Karlsruhe Transport Authority KVV (a city in Germany) to offer information on various types of transport solution (trains, trams, bikes etc). Moovel said that it was aiming to offer a “white label solution” for transport operators. (..)

Q1 Financials (April)

  • Released its detailed financials for Q1 2017. Revenue was up 11% year over year to €38.8 billion and net profit doubled to €2.8 billion. Daimler had already pre-released headline figures on 11th (More...)
  • Announced Q1 2017 financial results early because they were significantly better than market expectations. (..)

 

April

  • Whilst reporting Q1 results, Daimler said that it cannot rule out fines relating to diesel emissions. (..)
  • Daimler’s CFO said that they expect currency tailwinds of more than €500 million in 2017. (..)
  • Announced an expansion of peer-to-peer car-sharing service Croove to additional German cities. (..)
  • Was told by the KBA (German regulator) to recall 134,000 vehicles to replace air-conditioning refrigerant. (..)
  • According to board member Hubertus Troska, Daimler is in talks with various Chinese ride hailing firms including Didi around possible cooperation. (..)
  • CEO Dieter Zetsche said that he sees the possibility of further expansion in local Chinese production capacity. (..)
  • Daimler said that it is still evaluating possible semi-conductor suppliers for the processor units of its autonomous vehicles. (..)
  • Said that Car2Go rentals increased 23% year-over-year in Q1 2017 (6.2 million trips in total). Car2Go now has 2.3 million customers worldwide and 1.3 million in Europe. (..)
  • Announced a new joint venture called Toll4Europe to provide electronic toll services for vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes. (..)
  • Mercedes announced that March sales figures were the strongest in its history with sales of 228,296 vehicles, an increase of 14.8% year-over-year (Source)
  • Announced a partnership with Bosch to create self-driving vehicles by “the beginning of the next decade” (Source)
  • Said to be offering voluntary redundancy in its trucks business. The reported target is up to 2,000 job losses (Source)
  • Will produce the next generation Sprinter in Brazil, investing $150 million in the project (Source)

March

  • Announced the creation of a new company, Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH, owned by Daimler Financial Services, to offer connectivity services to fleet and business customers.
  • Expects record sales of Mercedes-Benz cars in Q1 2017
  • Brought forward its timescale for new electric vehicles -- now 10 by 2022 (old target 10 by 2025)
  • Trumpted a contract for 1,500 all-electric Vitos to delivery firm Hermes (to be in place by 2020, pilot in 2018)
  • Said it will recall nearly 400,000 vehicles in China due to a risk of over-heating at start-up

March

  • Incoming CEO Kaellenius is open to sharing battery cell design with other companies if it suited Daimler’s vehicles and was cost effective. (Reuters)
  • Unveiled an all-electric V-Class people mover with a 100 kWh battery. (Daimler)

February

  • Created a blockchain-based prototype sourcing ledger that can track materials across multiple stages of product creation and certify their origin. (Daimler)
  • Agreed to pool self-driving technology efforts with BMW, but only for SAE Level 3 and 4, aiming to release technology in the mid-2020s. The parties will continue with individual efforts on SAE Level 5 technologies, but remain open to discussion on sharing those too. (Daimler)
  • Scheduling down days at the Vitoria plant due to reduced demand for diesel vehicles. (Europa Press)
  • Daimler Buses acquired a 5.25% stake in fleet management software company IVU. (Daimler)
  • Will reportedly only be able to produce EQC in large production numbers from November 2019 onwards, with some “VIP” customers getting their vehicles in June. (Golem)
  • BMW and Daimler’s mobility joint venture will be five different services, all branded as [something] NOW: Reach Now will be multimodal travel; Free Now is for ride hailing; Share, Charge and Park Now services are self-explanatory. Emails have already been sent out to service users explaining the change in branding to them. The partners plan to invest €1 billion in the joint venture. (Daimler)
  • Recruited a 200-strong team of software developers over the past 18 months to create in car experiences. (Daimler)
  • Kicked off production of the second generation CLA at the Kecskemét, Hungary, plant. (Daimler)
  • Appointed a new CFO, Harald Wilhelm, who joins from Airbus. (Daimler)
  • CEO Zetsche said the EQC was sold out for 2019, and potentially all of 2020. (Welt)
  • Continued to stress that the firm intends to meet EU 2020 and 2021 CO2 emissions targets. Daimler says that in 2019, fleet average emissions won’t improve that much but in 2020 the benefit of large numbers of PHEVs and battery electric vehicles will kick in. (Daimler)
  • Production problems at the plant in Mexico are rumoured to be so bad that full year A-Class production could miss targets by (20)%. (Handelsblatt)
  • Outgoing CEO Zetsche said that Daimler and Geely are discussing a broader cooperation, but declined to give any specific details. (Reuters)
  • Mercedes-Benz and electricity supplier TenneT declared an experimental 1MW stationary storage to be a success and will now attempt to develop a commercial proposition. (Daimler)
  • Outgoing CEO Zetsche suggested that a conversion to electric cars would mean demand for labour increased rather than reduced. (Handelsblatt)

January

  • Unveiled a mild facelift for the V-Class. (Daimler)
  • Building a new factory for batteries in Poland on the site of a newly-launched engine plant. (Daimler)
  • Selling its share in electric motor JV EM-motive to partner Bosch. (Bosch)
  • Daimler believes that Chinese companies are more advanced than US counterparts in “many areas” of digital technology and connectivity. (Reuters)
  • Reportedly planning to name the BMW-Daimler mobility joint venture “Jurbey”. (The Drive)
  • Echoing earlier press releases by VW trumpeting their commitment to electrification, Daimler said it had placed orders for €20 billion of battery cells. It also wants suppliers to become more flexible to changes in demand between internal combustion engine and electric vehicles and make greater cost reductions. (Daimler)
  • Rumoured to be working on a smaller all-electric SUV, possibly to be badged EQB that will be similar to the yet-to-be-launched GLB. (Autocar)
  • Will change the metrics of financial guidance and also re-calibrate the meaning of certain terms used. (Daimler)
  • Secret talks between BMW and Daimler are rumoured to cover joint battery purchasing from CATL and a shared basis for smaller cars (e.g. A/B Class and 1/2 Series). Apparently the BMW team are still smarting from Daimler’s whistle-blowing on a engine technology talking-shop which could yet see BMW pay hefty fines. Autonomous vehicle technology is also believed to be under discussion but a pre-existing choice of partners (MobilEye for BMW, Bosch for Daimler) is making each partner worrying about losing ground. (Handelsblatt)
  • Planning a new assembly plant in Egypt with a joint venture partner. (Daimler)
  • Spending half a billion euros on automated truck technologies and intends to develop level 4 (substantial eyes off but bound by geography and environmental conditions) after mastering level 2 because in Daimler’s view the technology cost of level 3 brings insufficient benefit to operators. (Daimler)
  • Incoming CEO Kallenius said he is opening to sharing components and technologies with other companies but that is something is key to the brand he wants Daimler to go it alone. (Bloomberg)
  • Renaming the NuCellSys fuel cell subsidiary to Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell. (Daimler)