The generally moderate development of earnings in the automotive divisions will affect the free cash flow of the industrial business. There will be a negative effect from the continuing high advance expenditure for new products and technologies. In addition, there will be costs for Project Future for the implementation of the new Group structure. Under these conditions, we assume that the free cash flow of the industrial business should be slightly higher than in the previous year.
For the year 2019, we aim to have liquidity available in a volume appropriate to the general risk situation in the financial markets and to Daimler’s risk profile. When measuring the level of liquidity, we give due consideration to possible refinancing risks caused for example by temporary distortions in the financial markets. We continue to assume, however, that we will have very good access to the capital markets and the bank market also in the year 2019. We aim to cover our funding needs in the planning period primarily by means of bonds, commercial paper, bank loans, customer deposits in the direct banking business and the securitization of receivables in the financial services business; the focus will be on bonds and loans from globally and locally active banks. In view of our strong creditworthiness, we anticipate slightly less attractive conditions in 2019, despite the normalization of the liquidity situation on international capital markets after the end of the central banks’ bond-buying programs in the United States and Europe. An additional goal is to continue securing a high degree of financial flexibility.