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Aston Martin, Daimler Formalize Planned Alliance

Engine project first on tap.

by on Dec.19, 2013

A worker at the AMG engine plant. Aston and AMG will work together on a new V-8.

Daimler AG and Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. have locked down the alliance they announced earlier this year, a move that will see the new partners work together on the development of new V-8 engines for future Aston products.

As part of the deal, the German maker will take a 5% non-voting stake in the British brand. The new partners also suggested that they are exploring further opportunities, including the supply of electronic components.

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The alliance could be particularly crucial for Aston, the supercar maker best known for its ties to film spy James Bond struggling to keep up with increasingly difficult global fuel economy and emissions standards since it was spin off from former owner Ford Motor Co. a few years back. (more…)

Daimler Third-Quarter Earnings Rocket up 50 Percent

by on Oct.24, 2013

Daimler AG reported a 50% increase in earnings in the third quarter with Mercedes-Benz sales accounting for much of the increase.

Daimler AG saw it earning jump 50% in the third quarter as units sales increased by 13% on record sales by Mercedes-Benz.

In the third quarter of 2013, Daimler AG net income reached 1,897 million euros, compared with 1,238 million euros in the same period a year ago. Earnings per share were 1.72 euros versus 1.06 in the third quarter of 2012.

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On the basis of current market assessments, Daimler also said it expect earnings before interest and taxes to total 7.5 billion euros for full-year 2013. (more…)

GM Looks to Buoy Opel with Russian Expansion

Maker views country as next big market for new car buyers.

by on Oct.21, 2013

GM is positioning Opel to be its top brand in Russia. The spot is currently held by Chevrolet.

General Motors is shifting its strategy in one of the world’s top emerging markets, Russia, to create some new pace for its Opel, the cornerstone of its ailing European operations.

Russia is viewed by many automakers as key market in the future, including GM, Ford, Daimler and Volkswagen as well as Hyundai and Toyota. Additionally, Russia’s largest automaker, AutoVaz and its strategic partner, are also looking to expand. Bo Andersson, a former GM executive, was recently promoted to become AutoVaz’s first non-Russian chief executive.

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For the past decade, GM has made Russia, a target market for its aggressive global expansion of the Chevrolet brand. Chevrolet, according to GM, has now delivered 12 straight quarters of record growth as GM has pushed ahead with its plans for Chevrolet. (more…)

Daimler AG Earnings Buoyed by Stock Sale

Divestiture of Airbus shares bumps quarterly results.

by on Jul.24, 2013

Daimler AG posted better than expected results for the most recent quarter.

With an influx of cash from the sale of its sales in an aerospace company, Daimler AG was able to post generally solid earnings for the second quarter even though profit margins in key segments slipped.

The earnings posted by Daimler AG for the second quarter of 2013 were significantly higher than in the second quarter of last year and better than the market expected. Daimler’s Group EBIT for the period of April through June amounted to €5,242 million (Q2 2012: €2,268 million).

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However, the German company’s earnings for the second quarter were boosted by a one-time gain totaling €3.2 billion related to the remeasurement and to the sale of the remaining shares in EADS, the pan-European aerospace company that makes Airbus passenger jets.


Daimler Turns to Elektrobit for Safety Software

German maker focusing on “core business” instead of software.

by on Jul.12, 2013

After years of developing its own driver assistance software, Daimler AG is turning that over to Elektrobit so it can concentrate on its "core business."

After years of going it alone and developing the impressive technology that’s been deployed on Mercedes-Benz E and S Class vehicles, Daimler AG is reaching out to a German software supplier to develop driver assistance software.

Elektrobit (EB), which is chartered in Finland, has developed embedded software for automobiles for than 25 years.

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Considered a pioneer in the introduction of important innovations in navigation and infotainment, the company has become a dedicated auto-industry partner providing technologies, tools and services for automotive manufacturers, such as BMW, Daimler, GM and Volkswagen.


2014 Sprinter Coming This Fall

Daimler revamps the multi-use commercial van.

by on May.07, 2013

Daimler hopes to expand its share of the commercial van market with the 2014 Sprinter this fall.

Daimler AG is aiming to cash in on latest shift in the rapidly changing market for commercial van-style vehicles in the United States.

When the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter first went on sale in 2001, its silhouette was somewhat unusual, noted Claus Tritt, general manager of commercial vehicles in the United States, during a briefing for reporters at the Mercedes-Benz Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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“We are no longer the exception. We are the benchmark,” Tritt said, adding that other vehicle manufacturers including Ford Motor Co., Chrysler/Fiat and Nissan are now bringing tall, narrow commercial vehicles to the U.S.


Daimler, Nissan and Renault Expand Global Alliance

“Nothing is off-limits” – except a full merger.

by on Sep.28, 2012

Daimler Chairman Dieter Zeetsche and Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn celebrate the expansion of their 30-month-old alliance.

Just about anything is possible as Daimler, Renault and Nissan announce yet another big expansion of their global alliance – except for the possibility of a full-out merger, the CEOs of the three makers said during a joint Paris Motor Show news conference.

The partners have rapidly added a wide range of new projects since first revealing a limited series of joint ventures in 2010. The latest move will see Daimler, Renault and Nissan jointly developing a new generation of compact engines while also sharing transmissions.

Meanwhile, Daimler could announce an even more expansive program before year-end that would have it share in a new assembly complex Nissan has already announced for Mexico.

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“Over time, we have built up so much trust we are working like hand and glove,” declared Daimler Chairman and CEO Dieter Zetsche, sitting alongside Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of both Nissan and Renault, who expressed similarly upbeat sentiments about an alliance the partners expect to save billions of dollars in the coming years – while also helping the makers rush new product to market at a faster pace.


Mercedes Near Decision on Sharing Mexican Plant with Nissan

“Potential pros and cons,” says Zetsche.

by on Sep.28, 2012

Zetsche is apparently leaning towards sharing a Mexican assembly plant with Nissan.

Daimler AG will “probably” announce by year-end a decision on where it will build a new North American assembly plant, Chairman Dieter Zetsche tells TheDetroitBureau.com, and there is a strong possibility that the new factory will be part of a planned mega-complex alliance partner Nissan has already committed to in Mexico.

“We are investigating the potential of our plants operating together,” said Zetsche, confirming a story first reported by TheDetroitBureau.com earlier this year.

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Daimler needs more capacity to supply North America and other markets , having reached the limits of what it thinks can be done out of its existing Mercedes-Benz assembly plant near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Until now, Zetsche had only confirmed that it was looking at various sites in the U.S., Canada and the U.S.


Forget Concessions, German Auto Workers Demanding Massive Pay Hikes

Unions warn of serious confrontations.

by on May.10, 2012

A BMW 5-Series model rolls down the assembly line near Munich.

German carmakers are negotiating new contracts with unions representing employees in what have become the most confrontational wage talks in well over a decade.

German unions negotiate with employer groups in different regions of the country IG Metall, the German metalworkers union staged a brief, one-day warning strike around Stuttgart, the home of Daimler AG and Porsche.

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Warning strikes are a ritual part of labor negotiations in German but this year they have an extra edge and union leaders have warned of more serious confrontations next week if the car makers and major supplier, such as Bosch, don’t meeting their wage demands.

The unions are looking for a hefty 6.5% wage increase this year and they gained some extra leverage when the major public employee union in Germany negotiated a substantial pay increase.


Daimler Marks 125th Anniversary with Record Revenues and Profits

But challenges face the maker in 2012.

by on Feb.10, 2012

Daimler CEO Zetsche had good news to mark the close of the company's 125th anniversary.

Daimler AG, parent to Mercedes-Benz and Smart, is wrapping up its 125th anniversary with a series of all-times records, the maker has announced, including all-time earnings and revenues.

The German maker posted a net profit of 6 bllion euros, or roughly $8.2 billion, on record sales of 106.5 billion Euros, or $145 billon, last year.  Adding to the birthday news, Mercedes-Benz Cars achieved new peaks for unit sales, revenue and earnings before interest and taxes.

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Daimler’s truck operations, meanwhile, showed significant improvement in unit sales, revenue and earnings, despite global economic weakness.

After the 9% increase in sales in 2011, however, Daimler is only predicting modest growth, this year. Nevertheless, in regional terms, Mercedes-Benz Cars sees further growth opportunities in 2012 in North America, as well as in China, India and Russia. “Prospects in Western Europe are rather limited, however,” the company said.