Annual Report 2017

Overall assessment of the risk and opportunity situation

The overall view of the Group’s risk and opportunity situation is the sum of the described individual risks and opportunities of all risk and opportunity categories for the divisions, the corporate functions and the legal entities.

As well as the risk categories described above, unpredictable events such as natural disasters, political instability or terrorist attacks can disturb production and business processes. Emergency plans are therefore prepared to allow the resumption of business operations as soon as possible. As far as possible, precautionary measures are taken and insurance policies are arranged. Risks relating to compliance are also included in the risk management process and are continually monitored. Regular training courses are carried out to prevent compliance violations. In addition to the described risks, other risks can occur that adversely affect the public perception and therefore the reputation of the Daimler Group. Public interest is focused on Daimler’s position with regard to individual issues in the fields of sustainability, integrity and social responsibility. Furthermore, customers, business partners and capital markets are interested in how the Group reacts to the technological challenges of the future, how it succeeds in offering up-to-date and tech­nologically leading products in the markets, and how business operations take place under the given conditions. As one of the fundamental principles of business activity, Daimler places particular priority – also in the selection of suppliers – on adherence to applicable laws and ethical standards. Furthermore, the secure handling of sensitive data is a precondition for business relationships with customers and suppliers in a trusting and cooperative environment.

Compared with the previous year, risks from associated companies, joint ventures and joint operations have increased as a result of increasing in risky investments in startups. However, the overall view of the Daimler Group’s risk and opportunity situation remains essentially unchanged. No risks are recognizable – neither on the balance sheet date nor at the time of preparing the consolidated financial statements – that either alone or in combination with other risks could endanger the continued existence of the Group. But since considerable economic and industry risks still exist, setbacks on the way to sustainably achieving growth and profitability targets cannot be completely ruled out. New competitors in the IT sector for example and the Group’s current strategy, among other things in connection with electric mobility, pose further challenges for the Daimler Group and are connected with risks and opportunities. By effectively and flexibly focusing production and sales activities on changing conditions, the divisions of the Daimler Group strive to utilize the opportunities offered so that they can fulfill or surpass their respective targets and plans. As far as can be influenced by the Daimler Group and provided that the required measures are financially viable, the Group takes appropriate action to realize those opportunities.

In order to recognize risks and opportunities at an early stage and to deal successfully with the current risk and opportunity situation, the established risk and opportunity management system is continually monitored and further developed.

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Non-financial risks