In order to achieve our ambitious growth targets, we will systematically expand our product range in the coming years. At the same time, we want to be able to play a leading role in the far-reaching technological transformation of the automotive industry. This applies in particular to the increasing electrification of our product portfolio and to the digital connectivity of our products and processes along the entire value chain. By intelligently connecting the constantly growing volumes of data, we will create efficiency advantages, improve our product quality and facilitate the ongoing flexibilization of the production process. Against this background, we intend to maintain our investment in property, plant and equipment at a very high level, although there is likely to be a slight decrease in comparison to the year 2018.

Investment in property, plant and equipment at Mercedes-Benz Cars is likely to reach a similarly high level in 2019 as in the previous year. This is primarily due to the ongoing product offensive. The most important projects include the new models of the compact class, the C-Class and the S-Class, the new SUVs (GLE and GLS), and new engines and transmissions. Substantial investment is planned also for the realignment of our German production sites, for the expansion of our international production network, and for the worldwide production network for electric mobility. Furthermore, the division is making substantial investments in the technological CASE areas of the future (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, Electric). Daimler Trucks will mainly invest in 2019 in new products and successor generations for existing products, global component projects and the optimization of its worldwide production network. At Mercedes-Benz Vans, the focus of capital expenditure will be on production of the new Sprinter in Düsseldorf, North Charleston and Argentina, and on the further development of the V-Class and Vito. Key projects at Daimler Buses are improvements in the production network and advance expenditure for new models, in particular for an electrically powered city bus.

Research and development