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Daimler Invests Millions in Financing App

Automakers looking for more ways to make buying experience quicker, easier.

by on Feb.14, 2017

Daimler AG is investing millions into AutoGravity, an auto financing and leasing app for smartphones.

Daimler AG announced it plans invest several million euros into California-based AutoGravity, a smartphone-based vehicle leasing and financing app.

The investment by Daimler is described as part of company’s effort push to build a digital platform for financial services that will appeal to younger consumers who bank and pay bills, using smart phones.

Tech News!

AutoGravity is not quite two years old, but its already been deployed in more than 40 states with a phone app that allow buyers to find tailored buying and leasing offers.  (more…)

Record Sales for Mercedes Mean Big Profits for Daimler

But outlook is cautious for 2017.

by on Feb.02, 2017

Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche with a concept version of the Generation-EQ battery-car.

With Mercedes-Benz capturing the crown as the world’s best-selling luxury car brand last year, parent Daimler AG now has another reason to celebrate.

The German company saw its fourth-quarter net earnings surge by 18%, to 2.2 billion euros, or $2.4 billion, up from 1.9 billion euros the year before. For the full year, Daimler reported a profit of 8.7 billion euros, or $9.4 billion, a slight year-over-year improvement.

By the Numbers!

The upturn demonstrated that Daimler is on track as it broadens its scope with new technologies and new lines of business, declared CEO Dieter Zetsche. “Those who wish to shape the future of the automobile at the forefront of the automotive industry need both financial strength and innovative skill,” Zetsche said in a statement. “In 2016, we demonstrated that the combination of these two factors at Daimler is stronger now than ever before.”

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Daimler Drives Deeper into Car-, Ride-Sharing

German maker’s Mercedes brand ties up with Uber, Car2Go.

by on Jan.31, 2017

A subscriber orders a car through the Uber app.

Use the ride-sharing app on your smartphone and you’re likely to have a driver pull up in some basic econobox. Sign up for one of the car-sharing services and you’ll usually find a similarly no-frills model waiting as you rent by the hour.

But Mercedes-Benz wants to take things a bit upscale as it announces new deals with Uber, the largest American ride-sharing service, and short-term rental company Car2Go.

Product News!

Automakers from around the world have been rushing to find new ways to expand into new mobility services ventures. General Motors, for one, went so far as to invest $500 million into Uber’s prime competitor, Lyft, last year. But the new Mercedes-Benz deals could give reason for upscale motorists to try out ride and car-sharing alternatives.

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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.

Mobility News!

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.

By the Numbers!

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.

Global Auto News!

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.

We Keep You Plugged In!

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.

Electrifying!

“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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