Dieter Zetsche

Daimler CEO Unveils Ambitious Plans

Daimler – Jahreszahlen
Dieter Zetsche is one of the happier German carmaker CEOs.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Having managed to turn the group around, Mr. Zetsche now hopes to overtake German rival BMW in terms of both return and sales volumes, by 2020 at the latest.

  • Facts


    • Daimler achieved record figures last year, with sales of €149.4 billion, a net profit of €8.9 billion and sales volumes of 2.9 million cars and trucks.
    • But shares in Daimler have lost almost 30 percent since November and were down around 5 percent on Thursday.
    • 140 executives at the group will draw up a new corporate philosophy in the next few weeks.
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Dieter Zetsche leans against the radiator grill of a Mercedes E-Class model with a deliberately casual air, posing for the photographers. His shirt collar is open and it’s been a long time since he wore a tie. The message Mr. Zetsche is sending out is that he only follows his own rules.

His recent successes would tend to prove him right: while German rival Volkswagen is lost in the diesel clouds of the emissions rigging scandal and other competitors such as BMW are experiencing a slowdown in China, Daimler is racing ahead of the rest of the sector. The Stuttgart-based group has never before sold so many cars and trucks (2.9 million), achieved such high sales (€149.4 billion; $167.4 billion) or recorded such a high profit (€8.9 billion net).

The group’s Mercedes brand achieved double-digit growth for the third consecutive year, growing much faster than rivals BMW and Audi. From design to the rejuvenation of its brand, Mercedes is regarded as the benchmark in the sector in almost all disciplines of the future. Even when it comes to the return, which for many years was the company’s major weak point, Mercedes is now ahead of Audi and BMW with a margin of 10 percent.

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