In financial year 2017, the long-term credit ratings of Daimler AG were upgraded by the two rating agencies Moody’s Investors Service and DBRS from A3 to A2 and from A (low) to A respectively. Concurrently, Moody’s also upgraded the short-term rating from P-2 to P-1. For the first time, Daimler received a credit rating from the European rating agency Scope Ratings AG. Scope assigned a corporate issuer rating of A and a stable outlook to Daimler AG and its financing subsidiaries, with a short-term rating of S-1. The other agencies did not change our credit ratings compared with the previous year. At the end of 2017, the outlook for Daimler AG was assessed as “stable” by all five of the agencies it has engaged. (See table B.31)
B.31 Credit ratings
|End of 2017||End of 2016|
|Long-term credit rating|
|Standard & Poor’s||A||A-|
|Short-term credit rating|
|Standard & Poor’s||A-1||A-1|
|DBRS||R-1 (low)||R-1 (low)|
On February 3, 2017, Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) upgraded its long-term rating for Daimler AG and its rated subsidiaries from A3 to A2. It also upgraded its short-term rating from P-2 to P-1. The outlook was changed from “positive” to “stable.” The upgrade was explained with the robust operational performance in recent years as well as the successful and ongoing product renewal program. As assessed by Moody’s, Daimler is well prepared to weather the future challenges facing the automotive industry such as autonomous driving, alternative drive systems, fuel consumption and emissions.
Daimler AG for the first time engaged the European rating agency Scope Ratings (Scope) to issue a corporate rating. On April 27, 2017, Scope assigned an A rating for the creditworthiness of Daimler AG and its financing companies. The short-term rating was assessed as S-1 and the outlook as “stable.” Scope stated that its corporate rating reflects the company’s track record in recent years and Scope’s expectation for a continuation of the strong market positions held by the Daimler Group’s leading divisions, Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler Trucks. Scope stated that its positive risk assessment was supported by the Group’s geographic diversification and the added benefit from the captive finance business at Daimler Financial Services. Furthermore, it assessed Daimler’s financial risk profile as very strong.
On May 26, 2017, Fitch Ratings (Fitch) affirmed its long-term issuer default rating of A- with a stable outlook for Daimler AG. Fitch referred to Daimler’s strong business profile and robust credit metrics. In addition, Fitch mentioned the Group’s wide geographic and business diversification as well as the strengthened profitability of the automotive divisions in recent years. Fitch expects that increased technological convergence in the fields of autonomous driving and electric mobility will provide more synergies between the divisions in the medium term.
On September 15, 2017, S&P Global Ratings (S&P) also confirmed its long-term corporate rating of A for Daimler AG with reference to the leading position that the Group has achieved in the automotive business. The rating agency referred in particular to the strength of the Mercedes-Benz Cars division. S&P assumes that Daimler will maintain its competitive position in the coming years. Furthermore, S&P expects a continuation of very good financial metrics. The business risk of Daimler AG is assessed as “satisfactory” and the financial risk as “minimal.”
On November 29, 2017, the Canadian agency DBRS upgraded its long-term rating for Daimler AG from A (low) to A, with a stable outlook. DBRS stated that this change reflects the continually improving earnings over the past number of years, which has caused Daimler’s financial risk assessment to strengthen to a higher level.
The short-term ratings issued by S&P, Fitch and DBRS remained unchanged in 2017.