After 13 years at the helm of Daimler, Dieter Zetsche stepped down as CEO today and has handed over management of the Group to Ola Källenius. He will be appointed Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars for the next five years and comes with ambitions.
A few days ago Källenius announced where he intends to steer the passenger car sector under the motto “Ambition 2039”: over the next 20 years, the new car fleet of Mercedes-Benz Cars is to become completely CO2-neutral, including most of the production process.
By 2030, Daimler is also aiming to generate more than 50 per cent of car sales with electric cars and plug-in hybrids and to convert all European Daimler plants to climate-neutral production as early as 2022. Källenius thus promises to focus even more on the issue of sustainability and to take a holistic approach along the entire value chain.
In welcoming attending shareholders at the Annual Meeting, Manfred Bischoff, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said that individual mobility “is one of the central challenges facing the automotive industry”. He sees it up to the automotive manufacturers to “reinvent mobility solutions in urban environments,” and “the performance of the core business has to be right in order to master all these issues”.
On leaving, Zetsche emphasised that the company had acquired the necessary strength to assume a leading role in the transformation of the automotive industry. “We have initiated the greatest change in our history. This change is in full swing and encompasses our products and technologies as well as our business model and culture.”
The topic of the corporate structure was also on the agenda of the Annual General Meeting. Daimler is striving to place the passenger car and van business, as well as the truck and bus business on legally independent footings by November. From this date, Mercedes-Benz AG will be responsible for the Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans divisions, while Daimler Truck AG will manage Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses. The two new companies will thus become stock corporations headquartered in Stuttgart like Daimler.