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Daimler Cuts Costs and Sets Course for Future

Auto News - Published on Fri, 15 Nov 2019

Image Source: daimler
Daimler has presented a new sustainable business strategy at its Capital Market Day. With a clear commitment to CO2-neutral mobility, the company is setting its course for a successful future. Mr Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, said “We are positioning the company for the transformation with a clear strategy for the future. The expenditure needed to achieve the CO2 targets require comprehensive measures to increase efficiency in all areas of our company. This also includes streamlining our processes and structures. This will have a negative impact on our earnings in 2020 and 2021. To remain successful in the future, we must therefore act now and significantly increase our financial strength.”

The company assumes that the premium market for cars will continue to grow sustainably and faster than the volume market. Mercedes-Benz is well positioned to continue as the world’s leading premium brand. Global CO2 regulations require ongoing high investment. The expanded range of plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles is leading to cost increases that will have a negative impact on Mercedes-Benz Cars’ return on sales. A consistent product plan has been put in place to achieve the fleet targets in the European Union.

Mercedes-Benz Cars has initiated systematic countermeasures to sustainably improve its cost structure and offset the expected margin erosion. Primarily, material cost reductions should support this compensation. By the end of 2022, Mercedes-Benz Cars plans to save more than EUR 1 billion in personnel costs. To this end, jobs are to be reduced in both management and the indirect areas.

To strengthen the free cash flow, investment in property, plant and equipment and in research and development will be capped at the 2019 level and be reduced in the medium term.

Mercedes-Benz Vans is a growth sector, also supported by increasing urbanization and digitization of the retail business. In order to increase Mercedes-Benz Vans competitiveness, material costs are to be reduced as well as personnel costs by EUR 100 million. On this basis, the division Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans expects to achieve a return on sales from operating activities of at least 4% in the year 2020 before possible import tariffs and at least 6% in 2022 before possible import tariffs.

In the short to medium term, Daimler Trucks expects demand to decrease in its core markets in Europe and the United States. This normalization has already begun and is expected to continue until 2021. Daimler Buses expects demand to rise. In the Daimler Trucks & Buses division, investment and cost pressure will continue in the coming years. Investment in new technologies is needed, also in the CO2 neutrality of the fleet through electric drive and in the automation and connectivity of trucks and buses.

The market for heavy trucks, on which Daimler Trucks is increasingly focusing, offers good global growth and earnings prospects. In the long term, the truck manufacturer sees considerable business potential in highly automated trucks that travel between logistics hubs on highways. On this basis, the division Daimler Trucks & Buses anticipates a return on sales from operating activities of at least 5% in 2020 and at least 7% in 2022.

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Posted By : Arun Huidrom on Fri, 15 Nov 2019
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