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Daimler Acquires Mobile Payment Firm

German company gains foothold in competitive market.

by on Jan.18, 2017

Bodo Uebber, a Daimler board member, says "Mercedes pay" is a fundamental part of the company's digitization strategy.

Daimler Financial Services AG has announced it plans to acquire the electronic payment services provider PayCash Europe SA. The move is a sign of the increasing competition among makers looking for ways to allow users of mobility services, such as ride-sharing, car-sharing, etc. to pay for those services.

With a new foothold in the ePayment business, Daimler AG is preparing to its own electronic payment services provider under the “Mercedes pay” brand name. Terms of the acquisition by Daimler Financial Services AG were not disclosed.

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However, the acquisition signals an intensification of the fight for digital payment services by automakers, which see it as a crucial element of expanding transportation services such as ride sharing. (more…)

Mercedes Set to Lock Down US, Global Luxury Sales Lead

Victory comes four years early – but will it last?

by on Dec.09, 2016

Demand for the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class has helped the German maker capture the global luxury segment sales lead.

The struggle is paying off, or so says Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche. The German maker of Mercedes-Benz is confident it will end the year as the world’s biggest and most profitable producer of luxury cars.

After slipping behind two key rivals for several years, Mercedes also seems well-positioned to capture the luxury sales crown in the U.S. market, at least if it can maintain the momentum it showed during the first 11 months of 2016.

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Mercedes’s surge to the top was a key target for Zetsche, though he had originally been targeting 2020 to achieve that goal. “We will achieve it this year, four years ahead of time,” the executive, with his trademark handlebar moustache, boasted during an economic conference in Frankfurt.

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Daimler Slowly Integrating Fleet Management Acquisition

With Athlon purchase, Daimler becomes Europe's largest fleet management business.

by on Dec.09, 2016

Daimler's Dieter Zetsche said that the company would be growing its services businesses.

Daimler AG disclosed it will take another year to complete the integration of Athlon Car Lease International, which it acquired earlier this year, making the German automaker one of the largest managers of vehicle fleets Europe.

Daimler Financial Services has received regulatory approval for the acquisition of Athlon from De Lage Landen International Group, which belongs to Dutch Rabobank.

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The company put up $1.2 billion to acquire Athlon, a leader in fleet management company across Europe, so Daimler Financial Services can expand the company’s “business mobility” services with Daimler Fleet Management. (more…)

Major Automakers Team Up on Ultra-Fast EV Charging Project

System could deliver 300+ miles range in 10 minutes.

by on Dec.01, 2016

A Level 4 charger could give a long-range vehicle a "fill-up" in 10 minutes or less.

Another barrier to electrification is about to fall, thanks to a new coalition pairing BMW, Daimler, Ford and the various Volkswagen AG brands.

The automakers have signed a preliminary agreement that would begin rolling out a network of ultra-fast electric vehicle charging stations across Europe – setting the stage for the adoption of similar Level 4 technology in the U.S., as well. The chargers will deliver 350 kilowatts of direct current, or roughly 2.5 times the jolt of the Superchargers Tesla is deploying across much of North America.

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The new system would leapfrog other Level 3 chargers just beginning to come online in many parts of the world. More importantly, they would allow a vehicle like the new, 200-mile Chevrolet Bolt (or the European version sold through Opel) to get a full charge in 10 minutes or less.

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Second Daimler Plant to Yield 400% Increase in Battery Production

Factory will play critical role in launch of new Mercedes-EQ models.

by on Oct.24, 2016

Daimler's new plant will cost the maker about 500 million euros but quadruple battery output.

Daimler AG has broken ground in the German town of Kamenz for a second battery plant, a move that should yield a 400% increase in its capacity to produce lithium-ion packs for a wave of new electric vehicles now under development.

During last month’s Paris Motor Show, Daimler revealed the new Generation EQ concept vehicle, a production version of which will serve as the anchor of an all-new new sub-brand, Mercedes-EQ. The maker also revealed electrified versions of all the current Smart brand models.

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“By 2025, our passenger car product portfolio will contain more than ten fully electric vehicles,” said Thomas Weber, the Daimler board member overseeing R&D and Mercedes car development. “At the same time, we are continuously pushing our plug-in-hybrid offensive and the introduction of 48-volt-systems,” and the batteries that will be produced at the new plant, as well as the original factory in Kamenz, will become “an integral part” of that product roll-out.”

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Strong Sales Boost Bottom Line for Daimler

“We are pursuing the right strategy,” says CEO Zetsche.

by on Oct.21, 2016

Daimler CEO Diester Zetsche reveals the Generation EQ concept car at the Paris Motor Show.

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class has scored a home run with luxury buyers – and with investors, demand for the new midsize model helping parent Daimler AG deliver a 13% increase in earnings for the third quarter.

Sales of the 2017 E-Class, as well as Mercedes’ expanding line-up of SUVs, helped offset a slump in Daimler’s truck business, the German maker handily exceeding analysts’ expectations for the July-September quarter.

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Earnings for the period hit 2.73 billion euros, or $2.97 billion, up from 2.42 billion euros during the third quarter of 2015. Revenues rose 4%, to 38.6 billion euros, or $42.4 billion. On a unit basis, sales of passenger cars rose 11%, to 565,564. (more…)

Smart “All-In” on Battery-Cars

U.S. only getting Fortwo ED, however.

by on Sep.30, 2016

Green machine: The Smart Fortwo ED Cabriolet makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Range anxiety remains one of the biggest concerns for consumers considering a battery-electric vehicle but it’s less of a concern for those who might only need their vehicles for short runs in dense urban settings. And that could play out well for the little Smart brand.

Daimler AG’s city car subsidiary plugged into the Paris Motor Show with a trio of next-generation battery-electric vehicles, one for each of Smart’s models. The preview was part of a broader series of announcement about electrification that included the launch of the new Mercedes-EQ brand-within-a-brand.

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“Smart is going all-in on battery power,” declared Daimler AG Chairman and CEO Dieter Zetsche, as the newest Smart Electric Drive trio drove onto the stage.

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Diversity of Daimler AG Board Growing

Company puts Seeger in charge Mercedes-Benz marketing and sales.

by on Jul.22, 2016

Daimler AG Chief Dieter Zetsche is working to find the next generation of Daimler executives, ideally a more diverse group of leaders.

Daimler AG’s top board appointed Britta Seeger to the company’s board of management, responsible for marketing and sales at Mercedes-Benz cars to replace Ola Kallenius.

The 46-year old Seeger, one of the few women to hold a senior executive post within Daimler AG, is one of a group of younger executives being groomed by Dieter Zetsche, Daimler’s CEO, for leadership roles with in the German industrial giant.

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Seeger’s appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2017. She is currently head of Mercedes-Benz operations in Turkey and previously was in charge of Mercedes-Benz operations in South Korea. (more…)

BMW Delaying Launch of 2017 U.S. Diesels

Latest maker hit by fallout from VW diesel emissions cheating scandal.

by on Jul.19, 2016

BMW will delay the launch of its variously diesel models in the U.S. due to added testing.

Even as Volkswagen continues to face new problems related to its cheating on diesel emissions testing, other automakers are facing collateral damage.

The latest to be hit is BMW, the automaker confirming that it will delay the launch of its 2017 diesel models because U.S. regulators want to be sure they comply with federal emissions standards.

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While the maker said there has been “no indication” that its oil burners don’t meet federal rules, the testing process has been delayed, according to various media sources, which will mean that models such as the 2017 BMW 328d sedan and xDrive35d won’t reach showrooms at the same time as the rest of the ’17 line-up.

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Daimler Predicts Quarterly Profits Despite Takata Mess

Mercedes cars expecting small loss.

by on Jul.12, 2016

Daimler will be profitable for the second quarter, although its Mercedes-Benz car division will post a slight loss.

Like other automakers, Daimler AG will release the company’s second-quarter financial report later this month, but it also disclosed it expects earnings for the April-to-June quarter to beat expectations despite the recall of thousands of vehicles equipped with Takata airbags.

“Daimler AG has achieved a Group EBIT adjusted for special reporting items for the second quarter that is significantly above market expectations. Group EBIT adjusted for special reporting items sums up to” 3.97 billion euros, or $4.41 billion, compared with 3.76 billion, or $4.17 billion, for the second quarter of 2015, the company said in a statement this week.

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EBIT is defined as: earnings before income taxes minus interest income plus interest expenses plus amortization of capitalized borrowing costs, Daimler said. (more…)