By on May 14, 2019

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]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

10 Comments on “Lean on Me: Incoming Daimler CEO Aims to Tap Alliances, Get Models Out the Door Faster, Cheaper...”

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    So the bean-counters are starting to make design calls.
    We have seen this before at MB and that is why you avoid ’95 to ’05 Mercedes.

  • avatar

    Mercedes-Benz. Engineered like every other car in the world.

  • avatar

    Mercedes doesn’t really work well with anyone, when they do its usually a disaster (merger, gla/q30, smart/renault etc) and this guy wants to change that to lower development costs, yet charge the same prices to make better profits. Unless he can pull off a culture change, then the new partnerships will be easier said than done.

  • avatar

    Quick, make one platform so every car is the same, make it cheap, and build it fast. Nothing bad could come from rushing this, right?

  • avatar


    I like my current MB ES350 enough that I still daily it despite the fact that it was supposed to be a temporary vehicle, but it is a last gen, having qualities that new gen MBs lack (even the S500 is being built of cheaper/more hollow stuff now).

    • 0 avatar

      My partners’ 2015 E350 2wd was a rattletrap compared to the 2012 E350 4-matic it replaced— which was about 4 steps below the 2004 E500.

      My 2018 Compass has materials richer than the 2015 GLK350.

      Mercedes-Benz materials quality hasn’t been anything special for quite a long time.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes! DW is back in action. Proof that wishes can come true. Frankly, this place just is not the same without you.

  • avatar

    Oh boy, faster AND cheaper?!?! For Mercedes? Thats sounds like a recipe for overwhelming SUCCESS! /sarcasm

  • avatar

    Das Beste Oder Nichts – Cimmaron by Daimler Benz. I am sure it will have high quality leather and refrigerator in armrest

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • TDIGuy: Demand should be driven by consumers, not business or politics. Business should do what it can to create...
  • Mike Beranek: That two-tone Ramcharger in the ad looks better than ANY modern large SUV. Love the stacked lights and...
  • SaulTigh: Always dreamed of having a V12 as a kid. If you wanted smoothness and great power when I was young, a V12...
  • Kruser: We had a Colt wagon it was… meh. But, perhaps it didn’t have a chance in comparison to the other...
  • Bike: You throw a lot of “facts” around old mate.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber