Daimler Annual General Meeting: Electric cars should come faster

The diesel theme obviously leaves traces behind Daimler. Group CEO Dieter Zetsche announced in Berlin that he wanted to make even more pace with the electromodels.

At the shareholders' meeting in the City Cube in Berlin, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche described emissions-free driving as the core of the Group's strategy. "We are approaching this goal in ever greater steps," Zetsche told the 6,000 shareholders. By 2022, more than ten new electric cars will go into series production. So far, the expansion of the electrofloat should be carried out on this scale by 2025.

On the road, however, all resources for CO2 reduction would have to be used. For this reason efficient combustion engines are an essential part of the solution in the transitional period. It also applies that modern diesel emit less CO2 than gasoline. The discussion about the diesel has been the industry for a year and a half. "Clear rules and transparent, more realistic test procedures are all the more important," says Zetsche.

Dieter Zetsche: The Daimler CEO (here at the 2015 Annual General Meeting) explains that emissions-free driving is the center of the strategy.
(Photo: Daimler)

"No infringement detected"

Zetsche also referred to the investigations of the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor's Office due to possible manipulations and increased pollutant values ​​in Mercedes diesel engines. "Neither the Kraftfahrtsbundesamt nor the Federal Ministry of Transport have found any breach of applicable law as part of their measurements on our vehicles." It is necessary to cooperate with all authorities.
In a voluntary service, Daimler is currently equipping around 46,000 V-Class and 211,000 vehicles of the compact class. Among other things, the so-called thermal window is to be improved. At certain temperatures, the exhaust gas cleaning is down-regulated to protect the engine. The KBA had complained that this window was too wide in many cars. Daimler is also targeting lawyers and public authorities in the US, including misleading advertising on diesel cars.

Profit of the passenger car division is expected to rise

Daimler is paying a dividend of € 3.25 per share to shareholders this year and therefore as much as in the previous year. The 2016 financial year was the most successful in the company's history. For the first time, the Group sold around three million vehicles, compared to 2.9 million in the previous year. Sales climbed from 149.5 to 153.3 billion euros. Operating profit reached EUR 14.2 billion (2015: EUR 13.8 billion).
Following a successful first quarter with double-digit growth in sales, the company expects another record year. The profit in the passenger car division is expected to be well above last year. Here, the rendition-strong E-Class is likely to be noticeable in the first full year of sales. The bus division also wants to lay again. In the case of the Vans, on the other hand, high investments in the locations, new products and future technology are noticeable. Despite a higher sales, the profit is expected to fall sharply.

Trucksparte remains Sorgenkind

Sorgenkind remains the truck division, which is struggling in many markets. Sales are expected to remain at the level of the previous year, while the profit slightly declines. The reason for this is expenses for a savings program of 500 million euros. It is still unclear how the many claims for damages on the truck cartel will be affected. An increasing number of forwarding companies have come together to fulfill their demands. The Group emphasizes, however, that these can not be derived from the EU cartel penalty.