Dr. Dieter Zetsche at the Annual Shareholders' Meeting: "Growth and
efficiency: Daimler is staying the course."
BERLIN, April 10, 2013
BERLIN, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
oAffirmation of long-term strategy and goals
oStart of biggest growth program in the company's history
oEfficiency programs to lead to savings of €4 billion by end of 2014
oVoting on a stable dividend of €2.20 per share
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080409/NYW017LOGO )
"Growth and efficiency: Daimler is staying the course" is not only the motto
of today's Annual Shareholders' Meeting of Daimler AG, but also describes the
Group's strategic focus. Daimler is pursuing the goal of reaching the top of
the respective sectors. "We are Daimler. We don't only want to get better. We
want to beat the competition – on a permanent basis," stated Dr. Dieter
Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of
Mercedes-Benz Cars, with regard to the Group's goals, according to the text of
"In 2012, Daimler continued to grow," Zetsche said about the past financial
year before an expected number of approximately 5,000 shareholders at the
Berlin Trade Fair Center (Berliner Messe). The Group achieved record unit
sales and revenue in 2012. Worldwide, 2.2 million vehicles were sold and Group
revenue increased by 7% to €114.3 billion (2011: €106.5 billion). Group EBIT
amounted to €8.6 billion (2011: €8.8 billion), and Group EBIT from the ongoing
business amounted to €8.1 billion (2011: €9.0 billion). Net profit increased
to €6.5 billion (2011: €6.0 billion), and value added rose to €4.2 billion
(2011: €3.7 billion).
In view of the earnings achieved and the course of business in the year 2012,
the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board recommended the distribution
of a stable dividend of €2.20 per share (2011: €2.20). This represents a total
dividend of approximately €2.35 billion or a distribution ratio of about 40%.
Affirmation of long-term strategy and goals
Zetsche formulated clear objectives for the Daimler Group: "We strive to be a
sustainably competitive company that not only produces the S-Class, but which
is the S-Class."
Daimler is pursuing the following specific targets of
oselling at least 1.6 million Mercedes-Benz passenger cars each year as of
2015 and leading the way in the premium segment also in terms of unit
sales by 2020,
oconsolidating its leading role in the truck sector by selling more than
500,000 units in 2015 and over 700,000 units in 2020, and
ogrowing also in its other divisions.
In addition to the growth targets, the Group has corresponding profitability
goals. In the medium term, it strives to achieve an average return on sales of
9 percent from its vehicle operations across all market and product cycles,
with return targets for the individual divisions of 10% for Mercedes-Benz
Cars, 8% for Daimler Trucks, 9% for Mercedes-Benz Vans and 6% for Daimler
Buses. The target for Daimler Financial Services is a return on equity of 17%.
Growth strategies supplemented by efficiency programs
"In order to achieve those goals, we have started the biggest growth program
in the company's history: Daimler is growing — at a faster pace, on a broader
scale, and in more markets than ever before," explained Zetsche at the Annual
The goals are to be achieved on the basis of far-reaching product offensives
in all divisions, through expansion of the model ranges, the creation of new
segments and close adaptation of products and services to regional customer
requirements. Across all of its divisions, Daimler has focused on four
strategic growth areas in recent years: strengthening the core business,
penetrating new markets, expanding its leadership on green technologies and
safety, and implementing new types of mobility concept supported by
innovations at the interface between mobility and digital networking.
Zetsche emphasized, however: "We don't want to grow at any price. Our growth
has to be sustainably profitable." To those ends, the growth strategies of the
individual divisions have been supplemented with effective efficiency
In the area of passenger cars, the Fit for Leadership efficiency program is an
integral part of the Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy. In the area of
trucks, the Global Excellence Strategy that started in 2005 has been
reinforced with the initiative Daimler Trucks Number One. Similar programs are
in place at the other divisions: Performance Vans 2013 at Mercedes-Benz Vans,
Globe 2013 at Daimler Buses and DFS 2020 at Daimler Financial Services. In
total, this is expected to improve the Group's cost position by €4 billion by
the end of next year.
For 2013 and the following years, the focus is on the consistent
implementation of the defined measures and programs. "The objective for this
year is to stay the course, continue our growth and enhance our efficiency,"
Unit sales in 2013 – status quo and expectations
Many markets were weaker than expected at the beginning of 2013. That applies
in particular to the markets for cars and commercial vehicles in Europe.
Nonetheless, in the first three months of this year, the Group sold more cars,
vans and buses than in the prior-year period.
First-quarter wholesale shipments by Mercedes-Benz Cars increased compared
with last year by 1% (retail 3%). The division expects sales impetus from the
very good demand for the compact-class models, as well as from the CLA, the
third model in the compact class, the new E-Class and the new S-Class, which
will have its world premiere in May. Despite the difficult first quarter,
Mercedes-Benz Cars assumes that with expansion of the total car market of 2 to
4 percent, its wholesale shipments will increase in full-year 2013.
Daimler Trucks increased its market shares in the first three months of the
year, although wholesale shipments decreased by 6%. Thanks to Daimler Trucks'
global spread and its strong, continuously growing product portfolio, the
division anticipates slight growth in wholesale shipments as the year
progresses. This development will be supported by the new truck for the
construction sector, the Mercedes-Benz Arocs, and the new medium-duty truck,
the Mercedes-Benz Atego.
First-quarter wholesale shipments by Mercedes-Benz Vans were slightly higher
than in the prior-year period (+3%). The division expects growth impetus from
the new generation of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which will be available as
of mid-2013. In regional terms, growth prospects are varied: While demand for
vans in Western Europe could continue to fall, the division anticipates a
slight recovery in China as well as sales stimulus in North and Latin America.
Wholesale shipments by Daimler Buses were better than in the first quarter of
last year (+23%). The division also expects an increase in wholesale shipments
for the full year compared with 2012. In Europe, there will be contributions
to this growth from the new Mercedes-Benz Tourismo and the new Setra TopClass
500. In Mexico, the launch of an all-new product family of five coach variants
and city buses is being prepared.
The growth of the vehicle divisions is also reflected by the development of
Daimler Financial Services: Its new business once again increased in the first
quarter of 2013 compared with the same period of last year. In 2013, the
division intends to pass the mark of three million leasing and financing
contracts for the first time. Daimler Financial Services sees considerable
potential in the expansion of its business with innovative mobility services.
Not much tailwind is anticipated from the markets in the coming months. For
Europe in particular, there are no signs of a trend reversal. Daimler will
therefore reassess whether its previous market-related assumptions for 2013
are still valid and will provide further information regarding market and
earnings expectations for the Group and its divisions for the full year in the
Thanks to new products and the efficiency programs now running, Daimler
assumes that earnings in the second half of the year will be higher than in
the first half.
Zetsche is confident that these goals will be achieved: "The course we have
set is the right one – but we have to follow it. And we will follow it –
undeterred by the ups and downs of the markets. Consistently and
Further information from Daimler is available at:
www.media.daimler.com and www.daimler.com
This document contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current
views about future events. The words "anticipate," "assume," "believe,"
"estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "should" and similar
expressions are used to identify forward-looking statements. These statements
are subject to many risks and uncertainties, including an adverse development
of global economic conditions, in particular a decline of demand in our most
important markets; a worsening of the sovereign-debt crisis in the euro zone;
a deterioration of our funding possibilities on the credit and financial
markets; events of force majeure including natural disasters, acts of
terrorism, political unrest, industrial accidents and their effects on our
sales, purchasing, production or financial services activities; changes in
currency exchange rates; a shift in consumer preference towards smaller, lower
margin vehicles; or a possible lack of acceptance of our products or services
which limits our ability to achieve prices as well as to adequately utilize
our production capacities; price increases in fuel or raw materials;
disruption of production due to shortages of materials, labor strikes, or
supplier insolvencies; a decline in resale prices of used vehicles; the
effective implementation of cost-reduction and efficiency-optimization
measures; the business outlook of companies in which we hold a significant
equity interest; the successful implementation of strategic cooperations and
joint ventures; changes in laws, regulations and government policies,
particularly those relating to vehicle emissions, fuel economy and safety; the
resolution of pending governmental investigations and the conclusion of
pending or threatened future legal proceedings; and other risks and
uncertainties, some of which we describe under the heading "Risk Report" in
Daimler's most recent Annual Report. If any of these risks and uncertainties
materialize, or if the assumptions underlying any of our forward-looking
statements prove incorrect, then our actual results may be materially
different from those we express or imply by such statements. We do not intend
or assume any obligation to update these forward looking statements. Any
forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made.
Daimler AG is one of the world's most successful automotive companies. With
its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler
Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest
producers of premium cars and the world's biggest manufacturer of commercial
vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides financing,
leasing, fleet management, insurance and innovative mobility services. The
company's founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the
invention of the automobile in the year 1886. As a pioneer of automotive
engineering, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility today: The
Group's focus is on innovative and green technologies as well as on safe and
superior automobiles that appeal to and fascinate its customers. For many
years now, Daimler has been investing continually in the development of
alternative drive systems with the goal of making emission-free driving
possible in the long term. So in addition to vehicles with hybrid drive,
Daimler now has the broadest range of locally emission-free electric vehicles
powered by batteries and fuel cells. This is just one example of how Daimler
willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society
and the environment. Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the
countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. Its
current brand portfolio includes, in addition to the world's most valuable
premium automotive brand, Mercedes-Benz, the brands smart, Freightliner,
Western Star, BharatBenz, Fuso, Setra and Thomas Built Buses. The company is
listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt and Stuttgart (stock exchange
symbol DAI). In 2012, the Group sold 2.2 million vehicles and employed a
workforce of 275,000 people; revenue totaled €114.3 billion and EBIT amounted
to €8.6 billion.
SOURCE Daimler Corporate Communications
Contact: Han Tjan, +1 212 909-9063; Florian Martens, +49 711 17-35014
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