By means of targeted investments and future-oriented partnerships, we strengthened our core business and made use of additional growth potential in 2018. We also focused on continuously developing our business portfolio and improving our competitiveness in our core business areas. Our activities revolve around the strategic dimensions of Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services and Electric (CASE), all of which will play a major role in shaping the future of mobility. In order to strengthen our position in these areas, we forged ahead with our partnerships and made various investments during the year under review. The most important projects are briefly described below.
Daimler AG and the BMW Group combine their mobility services
The BMW Group and Daimler AG intend to offer their customers a single source for sustainable urban mobility services in the future. To this end, the two companies signed an agreement in March 2018 to merge their mobility services business units. The companies plan to combine and strategically expand their existing on-demand mobility services in the areas of ca sharing, ride hailing, parking, charging and multimodality. Daimler AG and the BMW Group will each hold a 50 % stake in a joint venture comprising both companies’ mobility services. The headquarters of the new, joint mobility services company will be in Berlin. [After the complex transaction has been completed on January 31, 2019, the new mobility services company together with Daimler AG and the BMW Group will make a joint announcement in the first quarter of 2019 regarding the next steps to be taken (tbc)]. The partners plan to grow the new business model sustainably and to enable the rapid scaling of services. At the same time, the two companies will remain competitors in their respective core businesses.
Electric mobility in China
Daimler and its long-standing partner BAIC Group expanded their strategic cooperation in the new energy vehicle (NEV) sector in March 2018. Through its acquisition of a 3.93 % stake, Daimler has become a shareholder in Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd., (BJEV), which is a subsidiary of BAIC Group. The closer cooperation with both BAIC and BJEV will enable Daimler to gain an even better understanding of the needs of Chinese customers in the NEV sector. The investment in BJEV marks a further milestone in the close cooperation between Daimler and BAIC in China and underscores Daimler’s commitment to the further development of electric mobility in the country.
Settlement reached with the German federal government to end Toll Collect arbitration proceedings
In 2002, Daimler Financial Services acquired a 45 % interest in the Toll Collect consortium, which operates an electronic truck-toll system on highways in Germany. Daimler’s partners in the consortium were Deutsche Telekom AG (45 %) and Cofiroute (10 %). From the launch of the system to the end of 2017, Toll Collect generated more than €53 billion in revenue for the German federal government, which used the money to improve and expand Germany’s road infrastructure. A long-standing arbitration proceeding between the Federal Republic of Germany, Daimler Financial Services AG and Deutsche Telekom AG in connection with delays to the system’s launch was concluded through the conclusion of a settlement agreement in July 2018. This settlement will now enable Toll Collect to make a fresh start. Daimler has announced that it will not participate in the new bidding process for truck-toll collection in Germany. The current operating agreement ended on August 31, 2018 and the Federal Republic of Germany acquired the shares in Toll Collect GmbH as planned on September 1, 2018.
Acquisition of a stake in electric bus manufacturer Proterra
Daimler Trucks is investing in the US company Proterra Inc. The companies agreed to form a strategic partnership in September 2018. Proterra is a leader in the segment for electric local-transport buses in the United States. Initial joint projects will focus on the electrification of commercial vehicles in general and the exploitation of synergies in the electrification of school buses manufactured by Thomas Built Buses. The cooperation gives both companies the opportunity to offer reliable and economical new transport options with locally emission-free electric drive technology in this growing segment. School buses are also an ideal application for electric drive technology, since, like public-transit vehicles, most school buses travel the same route or a similar route every day.