Archive for the ‘Daimler’ Category

Daimler Says Diesel Ain’t Dead Yet

Growth of electric vehicles doesn't mean diesels are done.

by on May.23, 2019

Daimler's Dieter Zetsche said that the company's ambitious EV plans don't mean it's abandoning diesels.

Even as it moves to add electric vehicles to broad portfolio cars and trucks, diesel engines will continue to play an important role meeting the needs of customers, Daimler executives told shareholders during the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Berlin.

Dieter Zetsche, the outgoing chief executive officer, said the changes to product lines of both Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler Trucks will underscore the shift toward electrification. “We mean business when talk about electrification,” Zetsche said.

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“For example, our passenger car portfolio now includes more than 40 attractive models. This year alone will more than a dozen new ones. Our position has never before been as broad or as strong at vans, trucks and buses as well - in all regions of the world. (more…)

Daimler AG Ushers in New Era with Massive Reorganization

Zetsche's departure offers perfect time for structure change.

by on May.22, 2019

Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche speaks to attendees at his last shareholder meeting as chairman.

With the auto industry facing a turbulent transformation, Daimler AG is putting in place a new corporate structure and a new leadership team, while vowing to remain committed to what its outgoing chief executive described as a sustainable future.

Dieter Zetsche, who has led Daimler AG for the past 13 years and who a German business magazine recently described as the only “world class business leader in the auto industry,” relinquishes his dual role as chief executive officer as a chairman of the board of management and head of Mercedes-Benz cars.

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Ola Kallenius will replace Zetsche and take on the dual role as CEO and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. In addition, Harold Wilhelm will replace Daimler’s long-serving chief financial officer, Bodo Ubber. In addition, Markus Schaefer will take over Kallenius’ previous role as head of research and development and a broader role for Brita Seeger, chief of sales for Mercedes-Benz Cars. (more…)

Daimler Prepares Cost-Cutting Plans for New Chief Kallenius

New takes over for Zetsche.

by on May.21, 2019

Daimler AG Chairman Dieter Zetsche is on his way out into retirement. He will be succeeded by Ola Kallenius.

Daimler AG’s new chief executive is preparing a plan that would slash the company’s administrative costs by 20%, according to a report in Germany’s top business newspaper Handelsblatt.

Ola Kallenius, who will take over for Dieter Zetsche this week, has asked for recommendations due to the uncertainty facing car makers, the paper said. Central administration costs are to be cut by about 20%, the paper said, adding billions of euros in efficiency potential would be targeted.

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Daimler declined to comment on the Handelsblatt article, which appeared as Daimler was preparing for its annual shareholders meeting in Berlin. (more…)

EU Auto Tariffs Deadline Fast Approaching

European and American automakers alike hope for delay.

by on May.15, 2019

President Donald Trump has until May to either enact new tariffs on EU autos or order a delay.

With one trade war already underway, the White House could kick off another battle this weekend as the May 18 deadline nears for Pres. Donald Trump to decide whether to impose tariffs on European auto imports.

Any move would follow the completion of a Commerce Department study completed last February that concluded auto imports pose a threat to America’s national security. The president has not given a clear indication of how – or whether – he will respond as a 90-day deadline approaches, though he has had harsh words about European automakers in the past, at one point threatening to banish all Mercedes products from the streets of his home city, New York.

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Auto imports from Europe totaled $56.4 billion last year, according to Commerce figures, Germany responsible for the bulk of that. The risk of new tariffs sent shares of German manufacturers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen reeling in recent days. But even U.S. automakers, as well as suppliers and dealers, have been pressing the Trump Administration to hold back on launching a new front in the trade war.

(more…)

China Car Sales Tumble for 10th Consecutive Month

Downturn comes as US trade war escalates, domestic economy slips.

by on May.13, 2019

Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, shows off the SMV Concept at Auto Shanghai last month.

For much of the past two decades, China’s new vehicle market was the envy of the world, with routine double-digit annual growth approaching triple-digit gains on several occasions – but the numbers were down 14.6% in April, marking the 10th consecutive monthly decline.

At 1.98 million vehicles, China remains solidly in the lead as the world’s largest automotive market, but the downturn raises troubling issues for both foreign and domestically owned brands, such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Geely and Great Wall, impacting industry earnings around the globe.

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With China locked in an escalating trade war with the United States and the country’s overall economy showing signs of weakness, industry analysts question how soon the car market will show a recovery. The downturn could force automakers to look for ways to export products from increasingly underutilized Chinese plants, according to observers.

(more…)

Daimler to Go “Carbon Neutral” Under “Ambition2039″ Sustainability Plan

Company credited with inventing the I.C. engine is helping to put it to rest, says environmental group.

by on May.13, 2019

Mercedes revealed the U.S. version of its first long-range EV, the EQC Edition 1886, in NY last month.

The automaker that effectively brought the internal combustion engine to life appears ready to drive a nail into its coffin.

Daimler AG, the parent of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands says it expects plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, accounting for fully 50% of its sales by 2030, with a goal to go completely “carbon neutral” by 2039.

We Keep You Plugged In!

“One of the defining issues is how we address our CO2 footprint,” Ola Kallenius, Daimler’s next CEO, said during a conference in its headquarters city of Stuttgart on Monday morning.

(more…)

BMW Earnings Hit Big by Anti-Trust Probe

No plans to purchase stake in rival Daimler, says CEO.

by on May.07, 2019

BMW's earnings fell despite a global increase in sales.

BMW earnings tumbled 75% for the first quarter, its automotive earnings plunging into the red, due to a $1.6 billion set-aside to cover fines resulting from a European antitrust probe, as well as higher investments in autonomous and electrified vehicles.

BMW actually saw an increase in vehicle deliveries during the first quarter of the year, but revenues slipped 1% to 22.5 billion euros, or $25.1 billion. Meanwhile, the anticipated antitrust fine and other factors drove group earnings down to 561 million euros, or $627 million.

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Separately, the Bavarian automaker’s CEO Harald Kruger said he “can rule out” the possibility of taking even a small stake in its German rival Daimler, despite the two companies announcing a series of recent joint ventures, including one designed to share self-driving vehicle development efforts.

(more…)

Nissan Adds Another Nail to Convertible Coffin with Plans to Kill 370Z Roadster

Choice of ragtops growing increasingly thin.

by on May.02, 2019

Nissan will still offer the Z Roadster overseas, but it's dropping the ragtop in the U.S. due to slow sales.

Nissan is pulling the plug on its 370Z Roadster at the end of the 2019 model-year, the Japanese automaker has confirmed, marking the end of one of the brand’s most iconic offerings.

The good news for roadster fans is that the coupe version of the sports car will remain in production indefinitely – which doesn’t mean it will last forever, just that there are no current plans to once again remove it from the line-up.

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The 370Z Roadster joined the Z Coupe after it was returned to the Nissan family in 2009, part of the automaker’s turnaround program. Its demise comes as automakers rethink their passenger car strategies and, in particular, cull their slow-selling convertible offerings.

(more…)

As Sales Spiral Down, Daimler Kills Smart — in the U.S.

Kitschy partnership with Smart never lived up to expectations.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Smart car has offered battery-power options for the fortwo in the United States.

After years of trying, Daimler AG is ready to give up trying to sell Smart cars in the United States.

The German automaker said it plans to suspend sales of all-electric Smart EQ fortwo cars in the United States and Canada this fall at the end of 2019 model year. Officials from Mercedes-Benz USA have confirmed after reports of the brand’s demise in the U.S.

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The Smart EQ is currently the only Smart model on sale in the U.S. but through the first quarter Smart sales have fallen to less than 300 units, leaving the brand in dire straits. (more…)

Daimler Earnings Fall 37% as Mercedes Sales Stumble

U.S. sales fall 9% during the quarter.

by on Apr.26, 2019

Daimler AG Chairman Dieter Zetsche said the company's earnings performance was unacceptable during earnings meeting recently.

Daimler AG’s income dropped by double digits in the first quarts as sales of Mercedes-Benz vehicles fell in markets around the world, reducing the unit’s earnings before interest and taxes by 37%.

The adverse development at Mercedes-Benz led to a decline of 13% in Daimler AG net income for the quarter as the company’s total revenues remained flat. EBIT was down 15% despite improvements in the earnings of Daimler Financial Services. Daimler Trucks, despite a modest sales increase, saw its earnings decline due to an adverse swing in exchange rates.

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Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler’s board of management, said the company had to do better. (more…)

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