Daimler Is Just Going to Be Mercedes-Benz, Says CEO

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
daimler is just going to be mercedes benz says ceo

Daimler had decided some serious changes need to be made before the end of 2021, including a name swap and separate listing for its commercial truck division. While the reason given was to better facilitate the company’s transition toward a “zero- emissions and software-driven future,” investors have been critical of Daimler’s share price after it cratered in March of last year. Though we would argue the bigger concern is the automaker’s lackluster (or absent) growth and declining revenue since 2018.

Regardless, CEO Ola Källenius believes continued changes to the firm’s corporate structure are the only way to go. By 2022, Daimler will simply be known as Mercedes-Benz and have spun off Daimler Trucks with its own listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

Based on rival manufacturers who have taken similar measures (e.g. Volvo), Daimler leadership assumes its truck and bus division can might see broader operating margins if its allowed to fly solo. This is especially important for Daimler’s European trucking operations, which have been struggling far worse than their American equivalent at Freightliner.

“This is a historic moment for Daimler,” Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz, said in Wednesday’s release. “It represents the start of a profound reshaping of the company. Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans and Daimler Trucks & Buses are different businesses with specific customer groups, technology paths and capital needs. Mercedes-Benz is the world’s most valuable luxury car brand, offering the most desirable cars to discerning customers. Daimler Truck supplies industry leading transportation solutions and services to customers. Both companies operate in industries that are facing major technological and structural changes. Given this context, we believe they will be able to operate most effectively as independent entities, equipped with strong net liquidity and free from the constraints of a conglomerate structure.”

By raising the profitability of Daimler Trucks, it’s also assumed that the unit will be in a better position to develop and implement advanced technologies. This includes the obligatory battery and fuel-cell trucks, in addition to autonomous driving functionalities. There’s also a customer retention program in the works that will be tied to mobility and data services.

From Daimler:

As part of a more focused corporate structure, both Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck will also be supported by dedicated captive financial and mobility service entities, driving sales with tailor-made financing, leasing and mobility solutions, increasing retention and building customer loyalty. In this process, the company plans to assign resources and teams from today’s Daimler Mobility to both Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck.

While the exact timing has yet to be decided, Daimler stated that “a significant majority stake” in the trucking business will be distributed to shareholders. Daimler Truck will have a wholly independent management team and an independent Chairman of the Supervisory Board. It’s expected to be listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange by the end of 2021. A separate announcement regarding the name change (and any other tweaks made to Mercedes-Benz) has also been planned.

“We have confidence in the financial and operational strength of our two vehicle divisions. And we are convinced that independent management and governance will allow them to operate even faster, invest more ambitiously, target growth and cooperation, and thus be significantly more agile and competitive,” Källenius stated.

[Image: Franz12/Shutterstock.com]

Join the conversation
2 of 10 comments
  • RHD RHD on Feb 03, 2021

    Will any of this help the company(ies) sell more vehicles? Probably not. Will it help them make more profit by finagling the taxes a bit more? Most likely. Will they still share the parts bin? Yeah, they'll figure out a way. Does anyone really care about this? Well, not really, no. Will Mercedes still be the German Hyundai, at least in the looks department? Signs point to yes.

  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Feb 09, 2021

    Always been a little bit of a confusing name, seeing as the only Daimler branded cars I've ever seen have been range topping Jaguars (I think they used the Vanden Plas name in the states) Mercedes car range was strangely never harmed by their badge being used on vans, buses and trucks. I'd say more harm has came from the easy-finance Renault-Megane-based A class, a status symbol equivalent to a Ford Focus.

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.