Say goodbye to Daimler as we know it.
Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius is making perhaps one of the biggest changes in the German automaker's nearly 100-year existence. As part of the ongoing process of moving towards zero-emissions all-electric vehicles, such as the upcoming Mercedes EQS sedan flagship, and major software-related investments and developments, Daimler's Supervisory Board and Board of Management have agreed with the CEO's plans to separate Daimler Truck as a unique listing.
The reason is very simple, according to Kallenius: "Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans and Daimler Trucks & Buses are different businesses with specific customer groups, technology paths and capital needs," he said. "Both companies operate in industries that are facing major technological and structural changes."
In other words, the luxury vehicle and commercial truck divisions will no longer be under one roof. By the end of the year, Mercedes-Benz will distribute a majority of its Daimler Truck unit to shareholders. Passenger vehicles and commercial trucks will soon no longer share combustion engine technology; the former is shifting towards battery-electric systems while future semi-trucks could adopt hydrogen fuel cell tech. Mercedes cars, therefore, will no longer be associated with the Daimler name and will simply be called Mercedes-Benz.
Once separated, these two businesses will be able "to operate most effectively as independent entities, equipped with strong net liquidity and free from the constraints of a conglomerate structure," Kallenius emphasized.
Daimler Truck, as it'll officially be called, aims to become the world's largest truck and bus producer and a listing is planned in Frankfurt by late 2021. A major organizational change of this magnitude hasn't been seen since the Daimler-Chrysler breakup. The two automakers' so-called "merger of equals" back in 1998 quickly proved to be a bad marriage and ultimately divorced in 2007.
A final decision will be made regarding this new and smart plan at a Daimler shareholder meeting scheduled to take place in Q3 of this year. Until that time, business will continue as usual.