Annual Report 2016

Objectives and Strategy

We invented the automobile more than 130 years ago, thus fundamentally changing the nature of mobility. Today as well, we are on the verge of a fundamental transformation, as our vehicles are becoming increasingly connected, autonomous and electric — and are being linked to innovative services. We accept the challenges associated with such developments and are creating new dimensions of mobility. And we want to take the lead — with outstanding products and services, new and profitable business models and a corporate culture that can keep pace with the requirements of a digitized world. We aim to achieve profitable growth and increase the value of the company. We plan to achieve our goals by focusing our activities on four strategic areas.

Daimler‘s annual press conference summed up in three minutes

Four objectives

Delighted customers

Our leading brands in all divisions create value for our customers. We aim to finish at the top of all relevant customer-satisfaction rankings and win over customers with our outstanding quality. For that purpose, we create interfaces for sales and aftersales processes that ensure we can maintain contact with customers at all times. We want to expand connectivity in the vehicle even further, thus creating added value for our customers. We also offer our customers tailored transport and mobility services that improve efficiency and reflect the growing trend toward a sharing economy.

Technology leadership, innovation and digitization

We set standards for technology and innovation. We want our products from all the divisions to be the industry leaders in terms of safety, autonomous driving and green technologies. Here, we exploit the potential generated by Group-wide research activities and predevelopment and, where possible, we also make use of standardized systems and solutions. With the application of digital technologies, we aim to be at the forefront, both with our products and services and along the entire value chain. With connected products and services, we aim to inspire our customers, attract new customers, and utilize new business models in the fields of mobility and transport.

Profitable growth

We intend to achieve a 9 % average return on sales (EBIT in relation to revenue) for the automotive business on a sustained basis. This overall figure is based on the return targets for the individual divisions. Those targets are 10 % for Mercedes-Benz Cars, 8 % for Daimler Trucks, 9 % for Mercedes-Benz Vans and 6 % for Daimler Buses. For Daimler Financial Services, we have set a target of 17 % for return on equity.

The “Mercedes-Benz 2020” growth strategy is designed to ensure that our Mercedes-Benz Cars division will play the leading role in the premium segment worldwide over the long term. We also plan to further enhance the smart brand’s pioneering role in urban mobility. In addition, we want to further strengthen Daimler Trucks’ position as the leading truck manufacturer in the global truck business. Mercedes-Benz Vans aims to achieve further profitable growth with the help of its “Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global” divisional strategy. Daimler Buses plans to further strengthen its leading position in the segment for buses above eight metric tons gross vehicle weight. Daimler Financial Services plans to maintain its position as the best captive financial and mobility services provider; it will continue to grow further in close cooperation with our other divisions.

In order to safeguard our profitability also under difficult market conditions, we are adapting our business system in a way that enables us to react quickly and flexibly to market fluctuations and create value as close to our markets as possible.

Best teams

We work in teams whose diversity in terms of gender, nationality and age is of great importance. Our employees are proud to work at Daimler, and we are one of the employers most sought after by job applicants. Our core corporate values — passion, respect, integrity and discipline — form the basis of our actions. Integrity is particularly important for Daimler, and guides our actions with regard to our employees, the Group, business partners and customers. We are firmly convinced that conducting business with integrity makes us more successful over the long term and is also good for society as a whole. (See Sustainaability and integrity)

Sustainability is a fixed element of our philosophy. For us, sustainability means conducting business responsibly to ensure long-term economic success in harmony with the environment and society. (See Sustainaability and integrity)

Four strategic focus areas

We plan to achieve our goals through four strategic focus areas. (See graphic A.09)

We will focus on

– strengthening our core business,

– growing globally,

– leading in technology and

– moving ahead with digitization.

A.09 Strategic focus areas

 

Strengthening our core business

Mercedes-Benz Cars is strengthening its core business with innovative first-rate products and services, competitive cost structures, flexible processes and a customer-oriented sales organization. Our new products and services set standards in the strategic future-oriented fields of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric). These areas are combined in the acronym CASE. Our strategy for Mercedes-Benz Cars now focuses on playing the leading role in each future-oriented area and on linking these areas to create outstanding products, services and business models. The major highlight of 2016 was the new E-Class, whose innovative assistance and safety systems have taken the model a step further in the direction of autonomous driving.

Driven: Feature presentation of the E-Class

We will launch two additional new E-Class models in 2017: the E-Class Coupe and the E-Class Cabrio. Furthermore, we will underscore our leading position in the area of autonomous driving and connectivity with the launch of an updated S-Class model. We will expand our range of electric vehicles in 2017 with additional plug-in hybrids and three new electric vehicles from the smart brand, and before the end of this year, we will present a completely new fuel-cell vehicle on the basis of the Mercedes-Benz GLC. Mercedes-Benz also unveiled its new EQ brand in September 2016, thereby ushering in a new era of electric mobility. By 2025, Mercedes-Benz plans to launch more than ten electric cars on the market.

We continue to forge ahead with our vehicle architecture and module strategy. By progressing with standardization and modularization at our manufacturing plants, we are reducing our investment requirements and fixed costs. The interaction between lead and partner plants is safeguarding both the transfer of knowledge and the high quality standards associated with “Made by Mercedes” worldwide. Extensive repositioning is helping to safeguard the future of our German plants. At the same time, we continue to expand our international production network. For example, we are building a new facility at our site in Kecskemét, Hungary, and will begin manufacturing four-cylinder engines at a new plant in Jawor, Poland, in 2019. We are investing a total of €1 billion in our battery production operations, with €500 million of this amount earmarked for the construction of a second battery factory to be operated by our Deutsche Accumotive subsidiary in Kamenz, Germany.

Our “Best Customer Experience” initiative is designed to offer our customers the best experience among all automakers. All of our sales, service and financial services activities are aligned with each other throughout the entire duration of the customer relationship — right from the first contact. New sales formats such as mobile sales pavilions and Mercedes me Stores create meeting points that enable us to establish contact with new customers as well. Our “She’s Mercedes” initiative is allowing us to address women customers in a more targeted manner. More personalized service and advice is now being provided in our direct sales operations by including additional product experts. With the digital platform and service brand Mercedes me, we are providing innovative services, products and lifestyle offerings going beyond the car itself. (See "It´s all about me")

The smart brand stands for innovative urban mobility concepts. We will continue to expand the range of smart products for use as trendy city cars, as private and fleet vehicles, and as tailored models for the car2go car sharing program. The smart brand is already a leader today when it comes to personalization and mobility services. Moreover, with its smart ready to drop delivery service, the brand is now also starting to offer a range of quality digital services.

Daimler Trucks relies on its technology leadership, global presence and intelligent use of platforms. The platform strategy allows the use of key synergy advantages. Our customers profit from simplification through the rapid availability of relevant truck technologies. Our drive-system component platforms for medium and heavy-duty engines and automatic transmissions already enjoy great success on the market. We are now following up with chassis and cab standardization and by implementing a uniform electric and electronic architecture. In the future, the new “Truck Data Center” connectivity hardware will be installed as the heart of the connected truck across all Daimler Trucks brands. Possibilities for further efficiency improvements include not only the platform and common-component strategy, but also the rationalization of the product program and the streamlining of processes, especially at Mercedes-Benz Trucks. In order to further strengthen our competitiveness, we will continue optimizing our fixed costs. For the expansion of its core business, Daimler Trucks is pushing forward with electrification, as can be seen with the new FUSO eCanter and the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck. (See "All-electric distribution")

Mercedes-Benz Vans’ “Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global” strategy has three elements: market strategies for global expansion, product strategies for the further expansion and differentiation of the product portfolio, and the development and commercialization of customer-focused and holistic transport solutions. As of late 2017, we will expand our portfolio with the launch of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class — a premium pickup truck that will be sold in Europe, Latin America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Our current Sprinter with up to 5.5 metric tons gross vehicle weight is more powerful and boasts a higher payload capacity than before, making it even more versatile and efficient for customers. Further growth in online retail sales of goods can be expected to lead to higher sales of commercial vans in the future as well. Mercedes-Benz Vans is placing increasingly priority on electric mobility for the future of urban delivery transport.

Daimler Buses will focus over the coming years on achieving further sustainable and profitable growth and continual efficiency gains. Cost efficiency will be further improved through closer coordination between the facilities that manufacture complete buses and chassis. Additional business volume will be generated through increased sales of highly attractive complete buses and bus chassis, as well as by a convincing overall package of new and used vehicles, service and maintenance contracts, financing plans and new mobility services. In addition, Daimler Buses is increasingly focusing on natural-gas and electric drive.

Daimler Financial Services remains on course for growth and offers its customers a tailored system of financial and mobility services. These services range from leasing, financing and insurance solutions to car sharing, taxi apps and transport information and ticket purchasing services. About half of all the vehicles delivered by Daimler around the world today are either financed or leased by Daimler Financial Services. The division currently finances and leases 4.3 million cars and commercial vehicles worldwide, and plans to increase this figure in the future. Daimler Financial Services is also aiming to achieve the highest possible degree of customer satisfaction and greater customer loyalty under the motto “Engaging customers for life.” The independent Great Place to Work Institute lists Daimler Financial Services among the best multinational companies in the world to work for. This serves as an incentive to continue focusing on our attractiveness as an employer. With the acquisition of Athlon Car Lease International B.V., Daimler Financial Services made a strategic investment in the fleet-management business in 2016. This has made the division into a strong competitor in European fleet management.

Growing globally

Growth in global demand for automobiles will take place mainly in Asia over the long term. Although growth rates in China will be more moderate in the next several years, we expect the Chinese automotive market to continue expanding considerably in terms of absolute sales figures. For example, over the next ten years, the sales volume in the world’s largest car market is likely to increase from the current 22 million to around 30 million vehicles. For Daimler, growing further on a global scale means improving our strong position in passenger-car and commercial-vehicle markets in Europe, North America and Japan, while also fully exploiting growth potential in Asia and various emerging markets.

In order to achieve Mercedes-Benz Cars’ sales targets outside Europe, we are intensifying our activities in the world’s biggest sales market, China. Today, around two thirds of the Mercedes-Benz cars sold in China are manufactured locally. We produce the long and short versions of the new E-Class and the C-Class in China, as well as the GLC and GLA SUVs. In the electric-vehicle segment, we have teamed up with the Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD to develop a battery-electric automobile. This electric vehicle, which was launched in China in 2014 under the DENZA brand name, was joined in 2016 by another electric model with a range of 400 km. Our research and development center in Beijing is an important component of our international research and development network. In India, we are now building the GLC, our ninth car model to be produced there. In addition, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI) in Bangalore is Daimler’s largest research and development center outside Germany. In Brazil, we put a new facility into operation in 2016 at our site in Iracemápolis, where we produce the C-Class and the compact GLA SUV for the local market. In Aguascalientes, Mexico, we and our strategic partner Renault-Nissan are building a production plant for the next generation of premium compact models.

Our goal for Daimler Trucks is to safeguard the division’s strong position in Europe and North and South America (regardless of market fluctuations), and to achieve significant growth in the Asian markets. We are present in Asia with two regional companies, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) and Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), which has been operating in India for several years. At DICV in India, we build trucks of the BharatBenz brand as well as FUSO trucks for export to other markets. The FUSO trucks built in India are mainly aimed at price-sensitive markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our activities in the field of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks in China focus on cooperation with our partner Foton, with which we produce Auman brand trucks through our joint venture Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co. Ltd. (BFDA). We plan to begin selling locally produced Mercedes-Benz trucks in China as well at the end of the decade. With regard to Iran, we have now made preparations for the resumption of local production and sales of trucks, depending on the further development of local conditions. In order to fully utilize growth opportunities in the markets of the future in Africa, Asia and Latin America, we are positioning ourselves even closer to the pulse of the market in these regions with our new regional centers. These centers concentrate fully on sales and aftersales for commercial vehicles of the Daimler brands.

Mercedes-Benz Vans plans to continue growing in new markets within the framework of its “Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global” strategy. In order to further increase sales in North America and to improve our cost position, a new production plant is being established in North Charleston, South Carolina. Both the Vito, which we launched in North America under the name Metris in 2015, and the Sprinter are currently being assembled from parts kits in North Charleston.

Daimler Buses plans to grow in the emerging markets in the coming years. Great potential for growth exists especially in Latin America, and this potential can be utilized once the markets in the region begin to recover. Daimler Buses is well positioned in Latin America with a total of four production locations in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. In India, Daimler Buses operates a bus plant within the framework of its Daimler India Commercial Vehicles organization. With this approach, Daimler Buses aims to penetrate the Indian premium bus segment under the Mercedes-Benz brand name and the volume-bus segment under the BharatBenz brand, as well as offering tailored school buses and other complete buses for the requirements of export markets in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. With its new Mercedes-Benz Conecto city bus, Daimler Buses is now strengthening its sales position in markets in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. With a low total cost of ownership and little emissions according to Euro VI, this bus perfectly meets the requirements of those markets. In the coming years, Daimler Buses aims to grow and gain market share also in its European core markets.

The Daimler Financial Services division continues to expand its business activities in line with the growth strategies of the automotive divisions. The division offers leasing and financing models tailored to specific regions, as well as a broad range of mobility services worldwide. China especially offers good opportunities for further substantial growth in the future. Daimler Financial Services supports the worldwide sales of Daimler vehicles in approximately 40 countries.

Leading in technology

As a pioneer of automotive engineering, we continue to expand our technology leadership in the areas of drive systems, safety, autonomous driving and the connectivity of our vehicles.

At Mercedes-Benz Cars we have significantly expanded our activities in the area of electric mobility. As things stand now, we believe that by 2025, 15 % to 25 % of our new vehicles will be all-electric models. Until then, we plan to introduce more than ten new electric vehicles. All of our purely battery-powered vehicles will be consolidated under our new EQ brand in the future. In other words, EQ is more than just the name of a vehicle. Instead, it encompasses our comprehensive electric-mobility ecosystem of products, services, and charging and storage technologies. In total, we will invest approximately €10 billion in the expansion of our range of electric vehicles in the coming years. (See "The centerpiece of e-mobility")

The systematic optimization of combustion engines remains a key component of our efforts to achieve zero-emission mobility. One important aspect here is the complete electrification of the drivetrain through the use of new technologies such as the integrated starter-generator (ISG) and the 48-volt on-board power system. The new four-cylinder diesel engine, which was introduced in the new E-Class in 2016, will be followed in 2017 by four additional members of the new engine family. Systematic hybridization is another important interim solution on the road to zero-emission mobility. Our new plug-in hybrid vehicles combine the highest levels of dynamic handling and comfort with outstanding fuel consumption, and they also allow purely electric and thus locally emission-free driving. Taken together, our measures in this area are paying off: As early as 2015, we were able to reduce the CO2 emissions of newly registered vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Cars in the European Union to an average of 123 grams per kilometer. This means we achieved our 2016 target of 125 g/km ahead of schedule. We were able to maintain the average of 123 g/km in 2016 despite the fact that our sales structure changed towards upper-mid and large vehicles. We succeeded by means of technical innovations and further reduced the CO2 emissions of individual models. (See "It´s all about me")

More economical and powerful, more lightweight and compact - the new OM 654 diesel engine

Fuel efficiency is a key selling point also for commercial vehicles. In order to improve fuel efficiency even further, we are continually optimizing vehicles and drivetrains at the Daimler Trucks division. In Europe, we aim to reduce the fuel consumption of our truck fleet by an average of 20 % over the period of 2005 to 2020. Our integrated approach, which incorporates all the players from the transportation sector — ranging from commercial vehicle producers, bodybuilders and tire manufacturers to logistics companies — has taken us a major step towards achieving this goal. During the year under review, we conducted a field test with a comprehensively optimized production truck that was not only equipped with a new engine, but also featured an enhanced trailer as well as modified tires and other key components. The CO2 emissions produced by this vehicle were 20 % lower than those generated by a standard semitrailer rig.

In the North American market, the new Freightliner Cascadia is once again setting standards for fuel efficiency. With the help of additional optimization measures for aerodynamics and the drive system, we succeeded in improving the fuel efficiency of the new Freightliner Cascadia by up to 8 % compared with the predecessor model. We are the world leader for hybrid technologies in commercial vehicles. As early as 2006, we launched series production of the FUSO Canter Eco Hybrid for the Japanese market. The FUSO Canter Eco Hybrid boasts fuel savings of up to 23 % compared with conventional models, and its owners are able to recoup the moderately higher cost for the hybrid model within just a few years.

In 2017 we will launch a small production series of the third generation of the all-electric FUSO eCanter light-duty truck and will begin delivering the model to customers. This truck’s locally emission-free drive system is already helping to reduce exhaust and noise emissions in cities. The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck will allow purely electric transport for the first time in a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of up to 26 metric tons and a range of up to 200 kilometers. As things stand now, we should be able to launch this model on the market at the beginning of the next decade.

Mercedes-Benz Vans is also benefiting from the fuel savings and emission reductions achieved with the new diesel engines in our passenger cars. Nevertheless, the division is increasingly focusing on electric mobility solutions for urban delivery operations in the future. For example, Mercedes-Benz Vans will launch series production of a commercial van with electric drive in 2018. The purely electric drivetrain is being developed by Mercedes-Benz Vans and is designed especially for the requirements of customers in the urban delivery sector.

Fuel savings of up to 8 % have also been achieved through the launch of Euro VI bus models. Use of the latest generation of the OM 470 and OM 471 diesel engines in the Setra and Mercedes-Benz Travego, as well as vehicle-related measures, have led to a reduction in fuel costs and CO2 emissions of a further 4 % for these coaches. Daimler Buses is making greater use of natural gas and electric drive systems. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro NGT is a city bus with a natural-gas engine and CO2 emissions that are up to 10 % lower than those of the predecessor model. Daimler Buses also plans to launch an electric bus for the segment of locally emission-free vehicles in 2018.

We continue to strengthen our leading position with regard to safety and assistance systems in all our automotive divisions. Our approach to autonomous and accident-free driving is based on the use of comprehensive safety and assistance systems combined with vehicle connectivity technology and real-time digital maps. This approach guides us as we develop autonomously driving cars and commercial vehicles to the series-production stage. At Mercedes-Benz Cars, this development is being spearheaded by the extensive assistance systems in the new E-Class, and among our commercial vehicles by the Freight­liner Inspiration Truck concept vehicle with automated driving mode, the Mercedes-Benz Actros with Highway Pilot, and the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot. Daimler Trucks underscores its leading position in the field of safety with the further development of proven safety technologies. With fourth-generation Active Brake Assist and with Sideguard-Assist – both of which feature person recognition - Mercedes-Benz Trucks has started another new chapter for active safety technology. These systems primarily serve to protect the weakest road users: pedestrians and cyclists.

Detailed information on the topic of “Maintaining our technology leadership” can be found in this Annual Report on Future Mobility and Innovation and safety.

Moving ahead with digitization

Digitization is leading to major changes in society, economic competition, the way customers think and act and, ultimately, everything we do. It is altering our products and services, our communication with customers and the manner in which we create value at Daimler. Digitization is also paving the way for new mobility concepts and enabling the development of new business models for mobility and transport. In order to stay on top as this fundamental transformation proceeds, we are moving ahead with digitization at all levels and along the entire value chain, while continuing to focus on our customers. Our activities involve enhancing the connectivity of our products and services — i.e. developing customer-focused digital services and new business models and increasing digital communication with customers, starting with the initial contact and extending through the entire relationship.

Digitization along the entire value chain allows us to shorten development times, design production processes more flexibly and utilize marketing and sales channels in a more direct manner. Industry 4.0 will digitize factories through the use of systems for augmented reality, virtual assembly or human-robot cooperation. The amount of monotonous and strenuous work will be reduced as a result. The intelligent use of continually increasing volumes of data, along with the networking of all points in the value chain, will enhance efficiency, improve quality and make the entire production process even more flexible.

We continue to roll out connected vehicles at Mercedes-Benz Cars. Mercedes me connect, which will be made available in additional countries and regions, allows customers to access their vehicle online at any time and from any location. Mercedes me is our digital platform that brings together mobility, financing and other services (connect, assist, move and finance), and also provides information and news about the Mercedes-Benz brand (inspire). E pages 30 f Meanwhile, smart is introducing a range of high-quality digital services for urban mobility with the new “smart ready to...” The new range of services has been launched with smart ready to drop, which offers parcel deliveries straight to the trunk of a smart vehicle.

smart ready to drop | Kick-off session with Simon Gosejohann, Anna Frost & Niko Woischnik

We also continue to expand digitization and vehicle connectivity at Daimler Trucks. Connectivity will be a crucial factor for success in the logistics sector in the future. Daimler Trucks is the leader by far here, with approximately 400,000 connected vehicles worldwide. Our products are part of a comprehensive logistics system. The foundation for this is new connectivity hardware known as Truck Data Center that will be installed in all our trucks in the future. The system can be used for diverse applications and the hardware can also be installed in trucks from non-Group brands. The module receives all internal truck data and serves as an interface for external communication as well. Daimler Trucks plans to invest around €500 million in truck connectivity between now and 2020. In the meantime, services already available today such as Mercedes-Benz Uptime are helping to further reduce commercial vehicle downtimes. With the opening of the FleetBoard Store for apps at the beginning of 2017, we are establishing an open platform that allows software experts from other industry partners, as well as app developers, to contribute useful apps that increase the efficiency of the haulage sector as a whole. We are also further expanding our Detroit Connect telematics services in North America, in cooperation with partners from the IT sector such as Microsoft and AT&T.

With its adVANce strategic initiative, Mercedes-Benz Vans is underscoring its transformation from a pure vehicle manufacturer into a provider of customer-focused system solutions. The new Mercedes PRO service brand bundles professional services on a digital platform and has started the year 2017 with the launch of innovative connectivity solutions (Mercedes PRO connect). Our Vision Van concept vehicle offers a preview of the future of the digitized van, which will be part of a supply chain optimized down to the last mile through comprehensive connectivity. We will invest €500 million for the future initiative by 2020.

World premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Vision Van Research Vehicle

Connectivity at Daimler Buses also offers huge benefits for everyone from bus operators (in terms of fleet management and maintenance costs) to bus drivers traveling their routes. Moreover, passengers benefit from e-tickets and many other features. An important component of future urban mobility solutions are Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems, which are already offering efficient, fast and affordable local public transport in many cities around the world.

Digital technologies also offer us the opportunity to develop new and innovative mobility concepts for private, business and public transport applications. Examples here include car2go, CharterWay, Bus Rapid Transit and the “moovel” mobility platform. With car2go, which is our biggest business for private mobility services and is managed by Daimler Financial Services, we are the world’s leading company for flexible car sharing with more than 2.2 million customers. moovel offers our customers the opportunity to optimally compare various mobility services and then book and pay for them. In July 2016, the Daimler subsidiary mytaxi and Hailo, two leading app-based taxi providers, decided to merge. They now have 100,000 drivers in more than 50 cities in nine countries, and constitute the biggest European taxi network. In addition, Daimler increased its interest in the exclusive chauffeur service Blacklane in the third quarter, and has an interest in the long-distance bus company Flixbus.

New ways of thinking and acting are required if the digital transformation at our company is to be successful. We want to enthuse our employees for digital technologies and to strengthen our culture of innovation. DigitalLife@Daimler is a program that promotes the digital transformation throughout the Group, improves employees’ digital literacy and raises their enthusiastism for digital technologies and topics. Internal communities, blogs, events, roadshows and idea competitions offer opportunities for the development of new digital ideas and are used to promote the most innovative concepts as “internal startups.” In addition, we launched for example the Startup Autobahn initiative, which we operate with several partners. Our DigitalLife Day series of events takes employees into the digital world of tomorrow.

DigitalLife@Daimler: DigitalLife Day 2016

We are also changing our structures and processes in order to ensure that we can optimally utilize the opportunities offered by digitization. To this end, we have created new organizational units such as Future Transportation Systems and Mercedes-Benz Mobility GmbH at Mercedes-Benz Vans and CASE at Mercedes-Benz Cars. These organizations can develop their own products and business ideas independently of the processes at their respective divisions or business units. Our goal here is to combine the speed and risk-taking culture of the digital sector with our company’s focus on perfection and innovative capability.

Together with our employees, we are developing a new management culture within the framework of the Leadership 2020 program, which will help ensure our success also in the future. With this approach, we are addressing the challenges associated with the digital world and creating the basis for cultural changes throughout the Group.

Substantial investment in the future of the Group

In the coming years, we will continue to move ahead systematically with our innovation offensive in order to implement our growth strategy through the introduction of new products, innovative technologies and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. A large amount of our investment will be used for the digitization of processes and products throughout the entire Group. We will therefore invest more than €14 billion in property, plant and equipment in 2017 and 2018, as well as more than €16 billion in research and development projects. With this plan, we are once again increasing our investment in order to safeguard the future of the Daimler Group.  (See Tabel A.10 to A.13)

A.10 Investment 2017 - 2018

The investment in property, plant and equipment will mainly be used to prepare for the production launches of our new models and new combustion engines. However, we will also use our investment to realign our manufacturing facilities in Germany, to increase local production in growth markets and to expand our battery production network. (See Outlook)

Most of our outlay for research and development will be used for new products, innovative drive-system and safety technologies, vehicle connectivity systems and the further development of autonomous-driving technologies. Plans also call for substantial funds to be invested in our comprehensive electric mobility offensive. (See Outlook)

A.10 Investment in property, plant and equipment

  2015 2016 2017–2018
Amounts in billions of euros      
       
Daimler Group 5.1 5.9 14.3
Mercedes-Benz Cars 3.6 4.1 10.5
Daimler Trucks 1.1 1.2 2.3
Mercedes-Benz Vans 0.2 0.4 1.2
Daimler Buses 0.1 0.1 0.2
Daimler Financial Services 0.03 0.04 0.06
A.12 Research and development 2017 - 2018

A.11 Research and development expenditure

  2015 2016 2017–2018
Amounts in billions of euros      
       
Daimler Group 6.6 7.6 16.2
Mercedes-Benz Cars 4.7 5.7 12.2
Daimler Trucks 1.3 1.3 2.7
Mercedes-Benz Vans 0.4 0.4 0.9
Daimler Buses 0.2 0.2

0.4

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