By means of targeted investments and future-oriented partnerships, we strengthened our core business and made use of additional growth potential in 2019. The most important projects are briefly described below.
Daimler and BMW Group are investing more than €1 billion in a joint mobility-services provider
After the successful closing of the joint venture agreement, the two companies held a joint press conference in February 2019 where they stated that they plan to invest more than €1 billion in the expansion and the closer integration of their existing services in the areas of ride hailing, multimodal platforms, car sharing, parking and charging. In doing so, they will systematically utilize the opportunities offered by digitization, shared services and customers’ increasing mobility needs. In the period from February until the end of 2019, 588 million transactions were conducted through the YOUR NOW joint-venture group. The products and services of the joint ventures have been further systematically focused on customer requirements and consolidated into three pillars: 1. FREE NOW & REACH NOW. 2. SHARE NOW. 3. PARK NOW & CHARGE NOW. The establishment of a new parent company on January 1, 2020 supports the efficient management of these three pillars.
Daimler and Geely Holding establish a global joint venture for the further development of smart
In March 2019, Daimler AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group announced the establishment of a globally oriented 50:50 joint venture. Its aim is to turn smart, a pioneer of urban mobility, into one of the leading brands for electric mobility. The joint-venture agreement stipulates that the next generation of electric smart models will be manufactured in a new electric vehicle factory in China that will be especially built for this purpose. Global sales are scheduled to begin in 2022.
Daimler Trucks acquires a majority interest in Torc Robotics
In March 2019, Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics, a pioneer in the area of autonomous driving systems, announced that they are to form a partnership for the marketing of automated trucks in the United States. The two companies agreed that Daimler Trucks and Buses US Holding LLC, a subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG, would acquire a majority of the shares in Torc Robotics in order to link the businesses in a way that goes far beyond a conventional manufacturer-supplier relationship. Automated trucks have great potential to meet globally growing transportation needs by improving efficiency and further increasing safety. Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics augment one another perfectly with regard to resources, expertise and capabilities. The acquisition of the majority interest was concluded in the third quarter of 2019.
Daimler AG and BMW Group launch a long-term development partnership for automated driving
In July 2019, Daimler and BMW Group began to cooperate on automated driving. The two companies signed an agreement governing their long-term strategic collaboration in this area. Daimler and BMW Group plan to jointly develop the next generation of technology for driving assistance systems and automated driving on highways, as well as for automated parking functions. Moreover, the partners intend to conduct talks concerning a possible expansion of their partnership to include higher levels of automation in urban environments. This underscores the long-term, sustainable nature of the partnership, which will develop into a scalable platform for automated driving. The partnership is open to other automakers and technology partners. In addition, the results of the partnership are to be offered to other OEMs for licensing purposes. Among other things, the partnership aims to quickly launch the technology on the market. The first systems are scheduled to become available for privately owned cars in 2024. Each company will individually implement the results of the development cooperation in its own products. More than 1,200 experts will probably work in this partnership, some of them in mixed teams. Their tasks will include the design of a scalable architecture for driver-assistance systems including sensors, the creation of a joint computer center for the storage, administration and processing of data, and the development of various functions and software.