Initial steps taken to strengthen the divisional structure
Daimler AG seeks to further focus and strengthen the business structure of the Group by establishing legally independent entities. The plan calls for Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans and Daimler Trucks & Buses to become legally independent entities with greater business responsibility alongside the legally independent Daimler Financial Services division. This project is designed to strengthen the divisions as they prepare for the future, so that they can more effectively utilize the growth and earnings potential of their respective markets. Daimler’s plan for safeguarding the future of the company is based on three components: maintaining and increasing business success, continuing to prepare employees for the future, and keeping investors committed to the company over the long term.
Daimler plans to invest a three-digit million euro amount in the initial measures of this plan. None of the aspects of this project involve cost-cutting or efficiency programs, and the Group has no plans to reduce workforce numbers. Daimler AG is also not planning to divest itself of individual business units. The company will consult closely with employee representatives throughout the project. It has already reached an agreement in a position paper that addresses ways to balance the interests of the employees and those of the company. The key points include the extension of the employment guarantee to the end of 2029 (“Safeguarding the Future 2030”) and measures that will ensure nearly full funding of the company’s pension obligations. With regard to balancing the interests of the employees and those of the company, Daimler contributed €3 billion in liquid funds to the pension plan assets of Daimler AG in the fourth quarter of the year under review.
This project will be continued in close consultation with the employee representatives. Following the preparation of an implementation plan and a final assessment, the actual implementation will have to be decided on by the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board and approved by the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. The goal is for the draft proposal on the separation to be presented to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting for its approval in 2019.