The Daimler car company is being radically restructured. Shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting almost unanimously approved the split into two independent companies for cars and commercial vehicles. “Today is a historic day,” said the head of Daimler Truck, Martin Daum. The essence is to separate the truck and bus business from the group and list it on the stock exchange by Christmas. The plan is to list the soon-to-be independent commercial vehicle manufacturer on the Dax stock exchange index. Shareholders of the company are to be given a stake in Daimler Truck through additional shares. The truck business not only has a long tradition at the automobile group, it has also long been overshadowed by the larger and more prestigious car business. Daimler Truck sees itself as the world market leader in commercial vehicles and has over 100,000 employees.
The separation under the code name “Focus” is intended to create “added value for all sides”, said CEO Ola Källenius. Both companies should become stronger and more competitive. “We are securing existing jobs – and creating new ones.” The car business is fundamentally different from the truck business, he said. With regard to the transition from the combustion engine to new drive systems, he added: “In cars, the focus is on the battery. In trucks, the fuel cell also plays an important role.”
The splitting of the company will cost around 700 million euros, said CFO Harald Wilhelm. Among other things, these one-off costs would relate to the split and the establishment of the financial services business. In addition, Daimler Truck is expected to incur higher running costs, initially estimated at around 250 million euros per year. Former Siemens boss Joe Kaeser is to become chief supervisor. The division for cars and vans is to be run as Mercedes-Benz Group AG in future. The name Daimler AG for the current umbrella company will disappear altogether at the beginning of next year. The brand name Mercedes-Benz and the star can continue to be used by Daimler Truck.
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