Daimler pushes its sustainable business strategy forward
- Successful crisis management of COVID-19 pandemic
- Production to be ramped up worldwide subject to demand
- Dividend proposal takes into account stakeholder interests and business situation
- Focus on increased efficiency and strategic investments in the future
Daimler AG (ticker symbol DAI) is maintaining its course in the midst of challenging economic conditions and continuing to invest in the key technologies of the future to successfully shape the transformation. “Despite all the challenges presented by the corona pandemic, we must not neglect the key tasks of the transformation. Electrification and digitization in all their forms are the main technological tasks and continue to require high funding. Not least, COVID-19 has once again made it clear that we must be more careful with our environment if we want to avoid causing enormous damage to ourselves in the long term. Daimler’s goal continues to be emission-free mobility,” says Manfred Bischoff, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG, at the company’s virtual Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on Wednesday.The agenda of the Annual Meeting includes advance resolutions on capital measures and amendments to the Articles of Incorporation. Among other things, the changes are intended to make virtual meetings and electronic participation possible again in the future.
The agenda also features proposed changes in the Supervisory Board’s composition. Dr. Paul Achleitner’s term of office as a member of the Supervisory Board representing the shareholders expires at the end of the Annual Meeting. The Supervisory Board proposes Timotheus Höttges, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG, Bonn, for election to the Supervisory Board.“Daimler’s future will be sustainably fascinating, sustainably climate-neutral and last but not least, sustainably profitable. In view of an ever-faster changing world, we must change at a faster pace. We need a lane change towards decarbonization. That’s the direction we're headed in and we're following insistently,” says Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, in his speech to shareholders.The next generation of the S-Class, which will be presented in autumn, represents the future of Mercedes-Benz. It combines the two strategic focuses of electrification and digitization. 48-volt technology is standard with all engines, and the plug-in hybrid version sets new standards in this segment in terms of electric range. The market launch of the S-Class will be followed in 2021 by the EQS, the first fully electric luxury sedan from Mercedes-Benz based on an all-electric architecture.
At the same time, Mercedes-Benz is taking the next major step in terms of digitization, safety and automated driving functions with an updated version of the MBUX navigation and infotainment system.“The S-Class is the world's best-selling luxury sedan, and with the latest generation, we want to offer our customers innovation, safety, comfort and quality like never before. We are above all a luxury brand and there is great potential for further growth, especially at the upper end of the segments in which we are operating. So we will systematically strengthen our brand portfolio and make it more attractive to a broader target group. We are focused on building the most desirable cars in the world. That is our promise and the best path towards more profitable growth,” says Källenius.Current situationAfter the global economy had started the year with positive indicators, the COVID-19 pandemic and the countermeasures taken brought economic activities worldwide to a temporary standstill. Daimler proactively countered the drop in demand caused by the pandemic by suspending production in March, April and May, and by introducing short-time work. At the same time, expenditure was reduced and investments were consequently focused on future-oriented projects. This safeguarded the company’s financial strength. At the end of the first quarter, the net liquidity of the industrial business was at a robust level of €9.3 billion. In addition, Daimler significantly increased its financial flexibility at the beginning of April with an additional syndicated credit facility of €12 billion. “The measures we took were aimed at dealing with the situation in the short term but were also designed to support our long-term course,” says Källenius.