RIP Daimler And Long Live Mercedes-Benz

Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG, speaks during the opening ceremony of the “Factory 56" assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant on September 2, 2020.
Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG, speaks during the opening ceremony of the “Factory 56" assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant on September 2, 2020.
Photo: Getty Images (Getty Images)

Daimler is the name of the company that owns both Mercedes-Benz and the world’s biggest semi truckmaker. But those two concerns will split, Daimler said Wednesday. Eventually, the maker of Mercedes-Benz won’t be called Daimler anymore but instead “Mercedes-Benz.”

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Quoth Ola Källenius, Daimler’s CEO:

The transaction and the listing of Daimler Truck on the Frankfurt stock exchange is expected to be complete before year-end 2021. In addition, it is also Daimler’s intention to rename itself as Mercedes-Benz at the appropriate time.

“This is a historic moment for Daimler. 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,” said Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz.

Quoth the chairman of Daimler’s truck business:

“This is a pivotal moment for Daimler Truck. With independence comes greater opportunity, greater visibility and transparency. We will grow further and continue our leadership in alternative powertrains and automation. We have already defined the future of our business with battery-electric and fuel-cell trucks, as well as strong positions in autonomous driving. With targeted partnerships we will accelerate the development of key technologies to bring best-in-class products to our customers rapidly,” said Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler and Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck.

“Daimler Truck already has a solid financial basis, and our business model is robust. We will continue to work on our cash flow management and we know how to deal with industry market cycles – we have proven that again in the significant COVID-related global market reduction. We have clear strategies to raise our financial performance and accelerate our execution. We will use our strong and well-known global brands, our scale and our exceptional technology to deliver industry-leading returns,” Daum added.

The move appears in large part to be a stock market play, as it’s a good time to be an automaker on the stock market, or at least good if you can argue that you represent the future. The move also seems intended to shape things up in Daimler’s truck division, per Bloomberg:

Daimler officials have ruled out a complete sale of individual divisions but kept the door open to a partial listing of the trucks unit. The business sells more heavy-duty trucks annually than global rivals, though its returns have for years trailed Volvo and other peers.

German rival Volkswagen AG pushed through an IPO of its Traton SE trucks unit in 2019, and the business now has a market value of about 11.6 billion euros. Traton agreed last year to acquire Navistar International Corp. to challenge Daimler and Volvo in North America, the industry’s biggest source of profits.

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Mercedes and Daimler have long been synonymous but if only for elegance’s sake I’m happy there will soon be separation. Daimler sounds like a semi truck company as much as Mercedes-Benz sounds like a car one.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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