The current situation Dieter Zetsche | 26th July 2017

Let’s not beat around the bush: The automotive industry is currently making headlines – and not good ones. According to last weekend’s media reports, there is a suspicion that several carmakers, including us, together reached agreements in contravention of antitrust law.

Inside and outside our industry, many of you will therefore be asking: “Is any of this true?”

It’s a fact that the European Commission is examining the information it has received on this issue. I know that many of us would like to have more clarity right now.

But we are well advised not to participate in speculation.

And the public discussion about diesel engines is continuing. This topic is highly complex - both technically and legally. We have been working on it systematically in internal investigations for a long time, and we are fully cooperating with the authorities.

Regarding the future of the Diesel we’re focused on the innovative strength of our engineers.

Our new diesel engine OM 654 is a good example that technical improvements can achieve more than driving bans. In addition, we took proactive steps last week with the announcement of specific measures. With the software updates, we are making use of the latest findings in this field and from the development of our new engine generation, so that we can significantly reduce the NOx emissions of our Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel vehicles under normal driving conditions.

Of course, diesel engines have to be assessed in terms of their NOx and CO2 emissions.

But when that is done objectively, it becomes clear that diesel engines are worth fighting for.

That’s why we advocate for them in our customers’ interests. Not because we have to, but because it’s the right thing to do.

With all of this, we want to focus on what really defines our company – above all, the outstanding work of my over 290,000 colleagues!

We recently completed one of the best quarters in our company’s history. Details can be found here. My short version:

  • In the past three months, we sold 822,500 cars, trucks, vans and buses – an increase of another 8 percent compared with the strong prior-year period.
  • We increased our total revenue by 7 percent to 41.2 billion euros.
  • And we improved our EBIT by 15 percent to 3.7 billion euros.

That’s why it’s very important for me to say:
Thanks to the team for their great efforts!

And besides our current quarterly figures, there are many good reasons to look forward with confidence: The truck market has bottomed out and the automotive industry is heading for its eighth consecutive record year. We have highly efficient engines that are already fit for the upcoming emission standards. At the same time, our electric offensive is accelerating in all vehicle divisions. Many opportunities lie ahead in connection with the CASE topics. And we are in an excellent position to utilize them.

The most important reason for my confidence is our willingness to change.

Innovation has always been a part of Daimler’s DNA. And it’s not just about performing a bit better in the next quarter. It’s about the car continuing to be what it has been from the start: a declaration of independence. Our founding fathers were striving for independence from horses and carriages. Now, it’s about becoming less dependent on oil or rigid ownership models. We are working to achieve this transformation. That’s our driving force.

But first of all, a lot of you will soon be taking your summer break. I wish you a relaxing vacation!

Sincerely yours,

Dieter Zetsche

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