Research and development

With our research and development activities, our goal is to further strengthen Daimler’s competitive position against the backdrop of upcoming technological challenges. With new and attractive products, we want to inspire our customers and utilize the growth opportunities offered by worldwide automotive markets. We are focusing on the strategic areas for the future of connectivity, automated and autonomous driving, and in particular the development of electric drive systems. After the continuous increase in recent years, the volume of research and development expenditure should have reached a plateau in 2019. Against the background of a focused and efficient application of funds, research and development expenditure in 2020 should therefore be in the magnitude of the previous year.

At Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans, a large proportion of the research and development expenditure in 2020 will be for developing the model range of the EQ product and technology brand, especially in the related development of a new platform for vehicles with all-electric drive and in the areas of digitization and automated and autonomous driving, which, along with electric mobility, are increasingly gaining importance. For cars, expenditure will decrease compared with the previous year for the successor model to the current S-Class and for the new compact cars. The Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans division therefore anticipates a slight decrease in research and development expenditure compared with the prior-year volume.

The Daimler Trucks & Buses division plans on research and development expenditure at the prior-year level. The focus will be on the development of new technologies, among other things, for the automation and connectivity of trucks and buses and for a fleet that is CO2-neutral in driving operation (tank-to-wheel) by means of electric drive (battery power and fuel cells). In the long term, we anticipate considerable business potential with highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4) in “Hub2Hub” applications on US highways between logistics centers. Another important area is the development of successor generations for existing products, with a focus on the segment of heavy-duty trucks, as well as on tailored products and technologies for major growth markets.

Overall statement on future development