1. Strengthening the core business.
A strong core business begins with first-class products. That is why the product range of Mercedes-Benz Cars is being renewed and expanded in all segments. In the framework of the growth strategy Mercedes-Benz 2020, we will launch more than 30 new passenger car models by the end of the decade. Almost half of these will have no predecessor in the current product portfolio. We will continue to expand our pioneering role in urban mobility with the smart brand.
Our modular strategy will allow us to manage the growing complexity arising from additional model variants, as well as ever-shorter innovation cycles and the expansion of our international production network.
Our "Best Customer Experience" initiative is designed to offer our customers the best experience among all automakers. All sales, service and financial service activities are aligned with each other throughout the entire duration of the customer relationship.
Daimler Trucks is focused on technology leadership, global presence and the intelligent use of platforms. Our platform strategy enables us to deliver tailor-made technology to our customers worldwide, while exploiting our economies of scale to the greatest possible extent. Thanks to this strategy and a broad range of products, Daimler Trucks occupies a very good position in the competitive field. On this basis, we continue to target sales of 700,000 units in the year 2020. In addition to growth, Daimler Trucks also prioritizes further increases in efficiency and the focus on its core business.
Mercedes-Benz Vans intends to strengthen its good market position in Western Europe with tailored and technologically leading products. For this purpose, the division is systematically further developing its proven models Sprinter, Vito and Citan, with which it primarily addresses commercial customers. The focus is on the product features that are especially important to customers: economy and safety. With the very successful V-Class multipurpose vehicle, the Marco Polo models and the Vito Tourer, Mercedes-Benz Vans is addressing additional target groups. New markets are to be developed with these models also in regional terms.
Daimler Buses is focusing on further growth and improved efficiency for the years ahead. Additional business volume will be generated through increased sales of attractive buses and bus chassis, as well as by a larger number of more extensive services for buses.
Daimler Financial Services will also continue to grow in line with the model and market campaigns for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. It will also continue to expand its product range in the areas of financing, leasing, insurance and mobility services.
2. Grow globally.
In coming years, the growth in global automobile demand will take place mainly in Asia. For Daimler, growing further on a global scale means improving our strong position in passenger car and commercial vehicle markets in Europe, North America and Japan, while also fully exploiting growth potential in Asia and various emerging markets.
In China we are increasing production capacities for model series that are already locally manufactured. We have joined forces with the Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD and have developed the battery electric automobile DENZA. Our activities in the field of medium duty and heavy duty trucks are focused on the cooperation with our partner Foton. Mercedes-Benz Vans manufactures the V-Class, Vito and Sprinter models for the Chinese market in cooperation with Fujian Benz Automotive Corporation. Daimler Financial Services is also expanding its business activities and offers region-specific leasing and financing packages.
We are continuing our internationalization strategy for research and development with our R&D center in Beijing. We have further expanded assembly capacity in India. There, we build trucks of the BharatBenz brand as well as FUSO trucks for export to external markets.
Daimler Buses sells locally produced buses since November 2015. The expansion of our international production network is accompanied by measures to strengthen our international research and development network in India as well.
Within the framework of its “Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global” strategy, Mercedes-Benz Vans also plans to grow in new markets. The entry into the worldwide volume segment of mid-size pickups before the end of the decade is to be seen as a further step in the global growth strategy.
3. Lead in technology.
We want to lead in technology – be it in “green” technologies, safety, autonomous driving or connectivity. That is why we pursue different objectives with our drive systems that range from optimized internal combustion engines to hybrid drives and locally emission free driving solutions. In 2015, we were able to reduce the average CO2 emissions of newly registered vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Cars in the European Union from 129 grams per kilometer to 123 g/km. This means we have achieved our 2016 target of 125 g/km ahead of schedule.
In order to improve the fuel efficiency of commercial vehicles as well, we are optimizing vehicles and powertrains at our Daimler Trucks division. The Predictive Powertrain Control cruise control system makes it possible for example to reduce diesel fuel consumption by as much as 5%.
We are the world leader for hybrid technologies in commercial vehicles. A series of customer tests with the emission-free FUSO Canter E-CELL resulted in operating costs that were 64% lower than those for a conventional diesel truck.
With the new Euro-VI models we have also achieved an up to eight per cent reduction in the fuel consumption of our bus fleet.
Likewise, we will strengthen our position as pioneer in the development of safety technology and autonomous driving across all divisions. The E-Class marks a major step forward on the path to autonomous and connected driving.
In September 2015, we became the first automaker to receive official permission to test autonomously driving vehicles on public roads in California in the United States. And since October 2015, the first autonomously driving series-built truck, a Mercedes-Benz Actros with Highway Pilot, has been undergoing road tests in Germany.
We will continuously advance the connectivity of our vehicles. In doing so, we aim to facilitate a seamless usage of the new technology for our customers.
4. Driving ahead with Digitalization.
Digitalization is leading to fundamental changes throughout our entire industry. Therefore, we are taking a holistic approach to digitalization with a focus on the customer. This first of all involves the networking of our products and services, for example with "Mercedes me". With "Detroit Connect" we established an exchange of data between the driver, the truck and the workshop in the U.S. Thereby we were able to increase the uptime of our trucks while also reducing workshop costs.
At the same time, digitalization paves the way for new mobility concepts. We are leaders in the field of mobility services, and offer our customers a number of different concepts for private and professional applications. With more than a million users, our car2gomobility service is the most widely used car sharing service in the world. Our "moovel" platform offers customers the opportunity to optimally combine various private and public mobility services.
As a result of the digitization of the entire value added chain, we are able to make development processes shorter, production workflows more flexible, and distribution routes more direct. This allows us to respond more rapidly and specifically to customers' preferences.
Promoting the process of digitization within the company requires new ways of thinking and acting. We want to spread enthusiasm for new digital technologies among our employees, and reinforce our culture of innovation.
With our strategic initiative DigitalLife@Daimler we are comprehensively promoting digital topics across all business units.