Annual Report 2017

Unit sales

Mercedes-Benz Cars will continue along its growth path in 2018. We intend to slightly increase our total unit sales, thus reaching a new record level. Growth is anticipated above all in China. This expectation is based on our attractive and innovative model portfolio, which is more diverse than ever before.

Mercedes-Benz will launch more than a dozen new and upgraded automobiles in 2018. Sales should be boosted in particular by our E-Class and C-Class model families. And our new generation of the compact cars, which will be launched with the A-Class this spring, should have a positive impact on unit sales. Our product range will become even more attractive as a result of several model upgrades. Above all, the new S-Class sedan, which has been delivered to customers also as a coupe and convertible since the beginning of 2018, should stimulate demand in the luxury segment. With the new CLS coupe, which had its premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2017, we intend to continue this model series’ success story.

We are well positioned also with our SUVs, including the upgraded GLA, which we launched in 2017. The new G-Class will make its mark in this segment as of this spring, and the GLC models should continue along their growth path. In addition, our sports-car and high-performance brand Mercedes-AMG continues to be an important sales driver. More and more customers are fascinated by the broad and appealing range of automobiles offered by Mercedes-AMG, which we are continually expanding.

We are systematically expanding our worldwide production network for electric mobility. Under the new brand EQ, which stands for “Electric Intelligence,” we will offer not only vehicles but also services in connection with electric mobility. By the year 2022, we want to electrify each segment across the entire Mercedes portfolio. Our goal is to offer our customers at least one electrified alternative in each segment - from the compact car to the large SUV. We plan to have a total of more than 50 electrified models by the year 2022. This will include more than ten fully electric vehicles, the plug-in hybrids and the models with 48-volt technology.

As of the year 2020, the smart brand intends to sell solely cars with electric drive in Europe and North America, and the other regions will follow. The new electric-drive models of the smart fortwo, smart fortwo Cabrio and smart forfour (electricity consumption combined: 13.1–12.9 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km) combine the agility of a smart with locally emission-free driving at an affordable price – the ideal combination for urban mobility.

Daimler Trucks assumes that its total unit sales in 2018 will be significantly higher than in the previous year, primarily due to the perceptible recovery of major markets. In the NAFTA region, we anticipate unit sales significantly higher than the prior-year level as a result of the ongoing market recovery apparent since the second quarter of 2017. In the EU30 region, we expect unit sales to be in the magnitude of the previous year. In Brazil, we assume that unit sales in 2018 will significantly surpass the low level of 2017. With our attractive product portfolio in the Indian market, we expect to significantly increase our unit sales and to further strengthen our market position. Furthermore, with the expanded range of FUSO vehicles from Indian production, we have the opportunity to generate additional sales in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our unit sales in Indonesia should grow significantly once again, and we expect to sell a similar number of trucks in Japan as we did in 2017.

Mercedes-Benz Vans plans to significantly increase its unit sales in the year 2018. Growth is expected to be particularly strong in China and the United States. We anticipate significant growth also in the EU30 region, due not least to the new X-Class. In the context of our “Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global” strategy for the division, we have expanded our portfolio with the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, a premium pickup for markets in Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In Latin America, market launch is planned for the year 2019. We expect additional growth in 2018 from the new Sprinter, which we will produce also in North America in the future.

Daimler Buses assumes that it will be able to defend its market leadership in its most important traditional core markets for buses above 8 tons with innovative, future-oriented and high-quality products. We expect total unit sales in 2018 to be significantly above the prior-year level. We assume that unit sales in the EU30 region will increase perceptibly. After the significant increase in unit sales in Latin America last year, we anticipate a further significant recovery in 2018. A positive development of unit sales is expected also in India.

Daimler Financial Services aims to achieve ongoing growth in the coming years. In 2018, we expect further growth in contract volume. This will be primarily driven by the strong development of new business in 2017, which should continue at the same high level this year. We are utilizing new market potential above all in China, and by means of new and digital possibilities for customer contacts – in particular through the systematic further development of our online sales channels. We continue to see good growth opportunities in the field of innovative mobility services, where we are active with the brands car2go, moovel and mytaxi, as well as with equity interests in Blacklane and FlixBus and various startup companies.

On the basis of our assumptions concerning the development of automotive markets and the divisions’ planning, we expect the Daimler Group to slightly increase its total unit sales in 2018.

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