Lean on Me: Incoming Daimler CEO Aims to Tap Alliances, Get Models Out the Door Faster, Cheaper

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
lean on me incoming daimler ceo aims to tap alliances get models out the door

Planned successor for Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, Ola Källenius, says Mercedes-Benz will significantly reduce development costs under his supervision by accelerating alliances throughout the industry. This, of course, has everything to do with electric cars, as that’s all auto executives seem capable of discussing anymore.

“The cost structure of the electric car is above that of the combustion engine car. We are working hard on lowering this,” Källenius said on Monday. “We need to work on the cost of vehicle architectures. From where we are now, we need to make a significant step by 2025 in terms of cost.”

According to Reuters, the future CEO claims development costs will have to come down substantially by 2025 and be largely dependent on successfully negotiating industrial alliances. “The intensity of cooperations will increase. The alliances will be not only with other carmakers and suppliers, but also with technology companies,” he explained.

From Reuters:

Daimler is pushing to develop a raft of electric and hybrid cars as a way to reach its aim of having a car fleet which is carbon neutral by 2039.

Mercedes-Benz wants to have a passenger car fleet which is carbon neutral in 20 years, the carmaker said on Monday.

To achieve this goal, Daimler wants at least half of its new car sales to be electric and hybrid cars by 2030 and wants to have carbon neutral production process by 2022, the carmaker said.

However, as much faith as the company has in its electrified EQ sub-brand, it would be silly to presume these alliances wouldn’t spill over into the realm of internal combustion. As stated, plenty of Mercedes-Benz vehicles will incorporate some form of hybridization, and the automaker has already partnered with Renault, Nissan, and BMW to share the financial sting of delivering all manner of vehicles to the masses.

Reuters recently claimed that Daimler’s Chinese joint venture partner BAIC is seeking to buy a stake in the company of between 4 and 5 percent. “We welcome investors who see the future of mobility in Daimler and are invested for the long run,” Källenius said of the prospective deal.

Unfortunately, these arrangements have not been subject to universal praise. Mercedes’ new pickup, the X-Class, has been criticized for being little more than a well-disguised Nissan Navara. While that’s technically what it is, Benz made no small effort in ensuring it offered a more refined product that was deserving of its badge. Still, concerns are mounting that all of this sharing and co-development could dilute Mercedes’ image as a premium automaker.

None of that appears to be an issue for Källenius, however. He’s decidedly focused on electrification and plans to chase that dragon with a cadre of rival automakers at his side. He’s scheduled to officially replace Dr. Z on May 22nd.

[Images: Daimler AG]

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  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?
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