Free cash flow and liquidity
The anticipated development of earnings in the automotive divisions will have a positive impact on the free cash flow of the industrial business. In view of repeated higher advance expenditure for new products and technologies, the free cash flow from the industrial business should be of the same magnitude as in 2016, and thus higher than the dividend distribution in 2017.
For the year 2017, we aim to have liquidity available in a volume appropriate to the general risk situation in the financial markets and to Daimler’s risk profile. When measuring the level of liquidity, we give due consideration to possible refinancing risks caused for example by temporary distortions in the financial markets. We continue to assume, however, that we will have very good access to the capital markets and bank markets also in the year 2017. We aim to cover our funding needs in the planning period primarily by means of bonds, commercial paper, bank loans, customer deposits in the direct banking business and the securitization of receivables in the financial services business; the focus will be on bonds and loans from globally and locally active banks. In view of the very good liquidity situation of the international capital markets and our strong creditworthiness, we expect a continuation of very attractive refinancing conditions in 2017. An additional goal is to continue securing a high degree of financial flexibility.