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Daimler chairman takes selfie with camouflaged Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Mercedes-Benz really does love to tease, and now, we know why. It is because the top honcho of parent Daimler AG, chairman Dieter Zetsche, loves to do so. In fact, Zetsche was recently featured on a post at Daimler’s LinkedIn business network account, taking a selfie with a camouflaged version of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Yes, the 2018 Mercedes A-Class is finally coming and it is now being test-driven – as well as teased -- by Zetsche himself.

Teasing a new product isn’t actually the main part of Zetche’s job at Daimler. However, he can do as he pleases. Nonetheless, as Daimler’s chairman noted, it is part of his job to test drive new products like the next generation of the A Class. It is his job to make sure that a new model is good enough to pass the careful eyes of the company’s management team, and is ready for series production.

Confirming that the car that he was taking a picture with is the 2018 A-Class in a camouflaged form, Zetsche said in a LinkedIn post that Mercedes will be taking the wraps off the camouflaged A-Class in 2018. He called the new A-Class as special since it is a symbol of the rejuvenation of the Mercedes brand, which started when it introduced the current generation in 2012. He noted that since 2012, Mercedes has sold more than two million units of the A-Class.

Read the entire article Daimler chairman takes selfie with camouflaged Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Daimler CEO confirms that we’ll soon see a Mercedes-Maybach SUV

Daimler Group CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche somehow confirmed that there will be a new SUV in their lineup. This announcement came from the CEO himself while on a press meeting at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Unfortunately, he didn’t go over the details. According to Zetsche, “I’d like to say you will be seeing it, but I’ll leave it at that.”

According to rumors, the luxury SUV will be wearing a Maybach badge. If that’s the case, the SUV will be among Mercedes’ Maybach division which also includes the limited edition S650 Cabriolet. For sure, not everyone would be pleased with the idea but some people would also want an SUV with all the luxurious appointments. Even if it gets delayed for a few more years, we think a Mercedes-Maybach SUV would be more than amazing.

Besides, don’t you think it’s about time that Mercedes-Benz comes up with an ultra-posh SUV? In any case, the German brand’s luxury sport utility vehicle will be pitted against Lamborghini’s Urus, Rolls Royce’s Cullinan and of course, Bentley’s Bentayga model.

Read the entire article Daimler CEO confirms that we’ll soon see a Mercedes-Maybach SUV

Daimler CEO says Apple and Google are getting nearer to making a self-driving car

It seems that tech giants Apple and Google are progressing on automotive projects faster than the top honcho of German carmaker Daimler had assumed. Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche told German weekly Welt am Sonntag that Silicon Valley companies that are working to develop a self-driving car seemed to know and can do more than assumed.

He noted that these companies have more respect for Daimler’s achievements than they thought. Google is currently testing prototype vehicles and is seeking partners from the auto industry, the company car’s project leader John Krafcik recently told the Automotive News World Congress.

There were also rumors that Apple is working on a vehicle, but the company did not confirm any speculations. In response to Google’s car project, Mercedes-Benz developed an S-class sedan that managed to drive 103 km (64 miles) sans any driver input.

Read the entire article Daimler CEO says Apple and Google are getting nearer to making a self-driving car

Daimler raises Dieter Zetsche’s pay by 1.4 percent after record sales in 2014

Dieter Zetsche will receive EUR8.36 million for his role as chief executive of Daimler AG in 2014, around 1.2 percent higher than he got in 2013 at EUR8.25 million. His base salary remains at EUR2 million. His remuneration also includes a short-term bonus of EUR1.73 million, a medium-term bonus payable in 2016 that depends on share performance, and long-term variable compensation that also entails stock options.

The extra pay comes after Mercedes posted higher sales growth in 2014 at 13 percent, which beats the pace posted by larger German luxury rivals BMW and Audi. Thanks to strong deliveries for its flagship S-class sedan and the GLA crossover, Mercedes was able to deliver over 1.65 million vehicles last year, but is still behind Audi by 91,090 and BMW by 161,709.

Combined pay, bonuses and stock options for Daimler's management board, however, dropped 5.6 percent to EUR28.5 million after Andreas Renschler, former head of manufacturing and procurement, jumped ship to Volkswagen in January 2014. Excluding Zetsche, the base salary of the management board jumped an average of 5 percent.

Read the entire article Daimler raises Dieter Zetsche’s pay by 1.4 percent after record sales in 2014

Daimler AG chief executive Dieter Zetsche believes that tech companies like Google would not become volume carmakers, even if they could possibly disrupt the auto industry that is becoming more focused on software and automated driving.

Just in the past few years, carmakers and tech firms based in Silicon Valley companies have become more inter-dependent, mainly because the development of next-generation cars requires development of advanced software and sensors.

Zetsche remarked that Google’s objective in unveiling an advanced self-driving car in 2014 might be to get a better understanding on how cars are used, instead of becoming a carmaker itself. "Google and the likes want to get involved, I don’t think in the first place to build vehicles," Zetsche said.

Read the entire article Daimler CEO says Google won’t become a volume carmaker

Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of German carmaker Daimler AG, is worried about the increasing anti-European Union sentiment in the region ahead of the European parliament elections on May 25. Zetsche remarked last week that the upcoming elections are “more important today than they have ever been.”

He said he does not believe that there is any alternative to a united Europe. The Daimler top honcho acknowledged that the EU is facing several challenges. He also acknowledged the continued disparity between the fortunes of member states.

He remarked the EU is at a point where nations needing further transformation suffer greater hardships than countries that are more successful. Zetsche quipped that lessons can be learned from history, noting 50 years ago, everybody referred to Germany as the sick man of Europe.

Read the entire article Daimler CEO expressed concern over anti-EU sentiments

Dieter Zetsche is bound to see his contract as Daimler AG’s chief executive extended beyond 2016, according to senior executives at the German carmaker. In 2013, Daimler’s supervisory board extended Zetsche’s contract by only three years to 2016, but the carmaker’s current product momentum, improving profits and the recent exit of Mercedes-Benz production chief Andreas Renschler all points to some continuity in the CEO post, a person familiar with the thinking of the board told Reuters.

Daimler’s 20-member supervisory board formally appoints management board members. The source told Reuters that a formal decision won’t be made until before 2016, noting that the past year has shown “how much can change in 12 months. The source added the current momentum was working in favor of extending Zetsche's contract.

Last year, the supervisory board reshuffled its senior managers, sending Wolfgang Bernhard from Mercedes-Benz as production chief to head Daimler’s truck business. Daimler has acknowledged it was considering potential scenarios for succession, but said that no decision was imminent.

Read the entire article Daimler may extend CEO Dieter Zetsche’s contract beyond 2016

Daimler is open to new approaches to grow its business and has even discussed with Volkswagen, BMW and Fiat about developing a common small car platform, remarked chief executive Dieter Zetsche. "When we were planning the current generation of front-wheel drive vehicles we were entertaining a number of discussions with BMW, with Fiat, with VW to check whether it makes sense to do something together," Zetsche said.

He remarked that Daimler eventually concluded that it would not gain much from such cooperation, which would only be marginal. Zetsche indicated that he was open to considering broader strategic steps during the remainder of his term in office. 

"If we were to just continue to do our homework, and not develop more elements going forward, we definitely would fall back," Zetsche remarked. Zetche’s contract as Daimler CEO ends in 2016. He noted that he was currently satisfied with Daimler's existing operations.

Read the entire article Dieter Zetsche said Daimler rejected partnerships with BMW, Fiat and Volkswagen

Daimler AG’s increasing connection to the Renault-Nissan alliance has relived questions over the failed marriage between the German carmaker and American company Chrysler back in the 1990’s. On such questions, currently Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche only replied, “the marriage in heaven didn't stay in heaven." Daimler and Chrysler merged as equals in 1998 to become an obsessively integrated DaimlerChrysler.

Renault and Nissan, meanwhile, had their own loosely linked marriage in 1999. Back then, there were bets and speculations on which of the two alliances would be more successful and it seemed than Daimler-Chrysler had the advantage. Back then, eyes were on the US-German tie up, with the partnership between the French and Japanese carmakers almost being taken for granted. The real answer came in 2007, when DaimlerChrysler decided to break up and become Daimler and Chrysler once again.

On the other hand, the Renault-Nissan marriage stayed. Ironically, Zetsche was sent to run Chrysler in 2000. Now that Daimler and Renault-Nissan are seeking to expand their collaboration, Zetsche notes that the German carmaker was "much better prepared" for its new affiliation "because of Daimler-Chrysler."He remarked that while one learns from success stories, more can be learned from failures. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Read the entire article Daimler CEO admits Daimler-Chysler was a failed marriage

Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche has purchased around 22,000 shares at a price of EUR52.08 each using the proceeds from share options that were granted to him almost a decade ago. Zetsche made the $1.51 million (EUR1.15 million) share purchase on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 according to Daimler's Web site.

Joerg Howe, head of global communications, said in a statement that with the share purchase, Dieter Zetsche was underscoring his confidence in “a sustained and positive development for Daimler,”  adding that the move by the carmaker’s top honcho is a signal to all the other Daimler shareholders.

According to Daimler, Zetsche financed the stock purchase from the sale of around EUR1.25 million of shares that were acquired after exercising call options granted in 2004. All of Zetsche's three transactions this week came after Daimler’s shares hit a two-year high following pre-announced results that the carmaker’s operating profit before special items in the second quarter of 2013 dropped by only 8.2 percent to EUR2.1 billion.

Read the entire article Dieter Zetsche bought 22,000 Daimler shares for $1.51 million

Daimler AG boss Dieter Zetsche introdiced a new Mercedes-Benz model, which is predicted to be the key to the brand’s revival, this week at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. This was Zetsche’s first major appearance since his contract was extended by the board by a period shorter than anticipated last month. Zetsche will depend on the CLA compact as the solution to Daimler's long-term underperformance in small cars.

The industry also considers the performance of this model as a factor that will affect his management record. Zetsche has a challenging task in front of him. The 59-year-old Zetsche would have to cut the gap between Mercedes and BMW and Audi by fixing a China expansion plan that had failed. He would also need to attract new buyers to the brand’s wider lineup of minis and subcompacts.

Barclays analyst Michael Tyndall said that it’s very important to get its problem in China fixed. He believes that Mercedes will also have to attract the younger generation, further emphasizing the importance of models such as the CLA.

Read the entire article Geneva: Dieter Zetsche unveils the Mercedes-Benz CLA a.k.a. his last-chance saloon

Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche's contract will be extended by the board for five years, giving him the opportunity to fulfil his goals. A source said that on Feb. 21, Daimler's supervisory board will meet. On this day, they’re likely to extend Zetsche's contract to the end of 2018. The 59-year-old Zetsche took the reins seven years ago.

He worked to unwind the empire-building strategy of Juergen Schrempp, his predecessor. In his next term of office, Zetsche will need to beat BMW, which sold 220,000 more units. Zetsche aims to get back the sales lead and increase profitability after having failed to do so twice before. Analysts predict that Daimler's fourth-quarter earnings will have fallen by 14%, compared to a 22% increase at BMW and a 15% increase at Volkswagen.

Max Warburton, an analyst at Bernstein Research in Singapore, said that Daimler didn’t achieve much in the past few years. He also said that it would have become bankrupt if it wasn’t pulled out of Chrysler before the government rescued it in 2009. When Zetsche became the head, the company was undergoing expansion under the direction of Schrempp.

Read the entire article Daimler board extends Dieter Zetsche’s contract for five years

Dieter Zetsche expects his contract as current chief executive of Daimler to be renewed after his term expires at the end of 2013, he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper in an interview. There have been speculations about Zetsche’s tenure in Daimler, as investors become increasingly concerned about the carmaker’s inability to close the performance gap with fellow German carmakers and rivals Audi and BMW.

Zetsche told the German daily that at the moment, there are good indications that he will continue as chief executive of Daimler. He said that Daimler's supervisory board would decide whether to renew his contract in February 2013. Daimler issued a profit warning in October 2012, saying it was facing "significantly more difficult market conditions."

A source privy with Daimler's supervisory board told Reuters in November 2012 that the problems would not be a hurdle in renewing Zetsche's contract, which expires on Dec. 31, 2013. The German carmaker has promised EUR2 billion ($2.7 billion) in cost cuts at Mercedes-Benz by the end of 2014. Zetsche told Welt am Sonntag that he expects that Daimler will sell significantly more cars in the future and will increase its productivity.

Read the entire article Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche expects expiring contract to be extended

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche is “confident” that by 2020 at the latest, Mercedes-Benz will be declared as the No. 1 luxury automaker ahead of Audi and BMW. When interviewed by German newspaper Boersen-Zeitung, he said that he aims to reach this goal during his term. His existing contract is only until December 2013 but he will most likely get a three-year extension in February.

Daimler has announced that by the end of 2014, he will implement 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) in cost cuts at the Mercedes-Benz division. He said last October that the brand will fail to reach its operating profit goal for 2012 by 1 billion euros. Zetsche added that Mercedes was unable to compete with others in the compact car market and in China.

As the debt crisis has weakened the demand in Europe, Germany-based luxury-car makers have only been able to maintain their growth due to high sales in the U.S. and Chinese market. While BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz are all hoping to achieve record sales for the entire 2012, the mass-market automakers in Europe are preparing for the lowest sales in the region in almost 20 years.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz will be number 1 by 2020, says Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche

Daimler would extend the contract of Dieter Zetsche as its chief executive by three years to 2016, a company source privy with the matter told Reuters. According to the source, the extension issue could be discussed in the supervisory board once the final year of Zetsche’s contract has started. The final year of Zetsche starts in January 2013.

His contract is set to expire at the end of next year. Der Spiegel, a German weekly magazine, has reported that the supervisory board of Daimler would hold a meeting in February to decide on extending Zetsche’s contract with the carmaker.

The report on extending Zetsche’s contract came as analysts issued warnings that there is increasing investor concern on Daimler's inability to close the performance gap with fellow German carmaker Audi and BMW.

Read the entire article Daimler to extend CEO Dieter Zetsche’s contract by three years

Daimler posted a record-breaking profit in 2011 but nevertheless, it has cut the compensation of CEO Dieter Zetsche. In an annual report last Wednesday, Daimler’s remuneration for 2010 amounts to 8.69 million euros while in 2011, he got 8.65 million euros ($11.5 million), including fixed salary, bonuses and long-term stock options.

This information was taken from the annual report that Daimler released last Wednesday. The base salary of Zetsche increased from 1.53 million euros to 2.01 million euros. The compensation may rise if Daimler’s performance in the next few years improves. Daimler will receive a 2.04 million-euro bonus next year. Zetsche may get a lower or higher amount depending on how its stock performs compared to other automakers.

After four years, a 2.57 million-euro stock-option program will be disbursed according to how Daimler’s earnings and shares perform. In 2011, Daimler, the world's biggest maker of heavy-duty vehicles, posted a record net income of 6.03 billion euros in 2011 -- 29% higher than the previous year. In 2011, Mercedes-Benz cars reported sales of 1.26 million units, falling behind Audi with 1.3 million and BMW with 1.38 million in overall luxury-car sales.

Read the entire article Daimler cut the compensation of CEO Dieter Zetsche despite record-breaking profit in 2011

Despite the upcoming risks and challenges, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche is optimistic about 2012. In a year-end letter to employees, Zetsche said that the company continues to be in “good shape” and is “growing.” He acknowledged the threat of economic difficulties just two years after the global crisis in 2009. He cited the debt crisis in Europe and the sluggish recovery of the U.S. economy.

However, he asserted that the company is prepared for any type of scenario. He said that the company’s goal is to “achieve steady growth in a volatile environment.” He said that Daimler’s "Mercedes-Benz 2020" plan is for the premium brand to reach No. 1 in the luxury segment in unit sales, revenue and operating profit by 2020 or even earlier.

Next year, six new models will be launched by Mercedes-Benz. These include the SL roadster, third-generation A-class entry-premium model, and full-electric Smart ForTwo. It will also be launching a new family of Actros commercial vehicles. A new truck joint venture in China with Foton is about to start as well. Zetsche ended the letter by writing that Daimler is poised to record “another successful chapter” in the automaker’s history.

Read the entire article Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche is optimistic about 2012, despite risks and challenges

Daimler’s profitability falls behind BMW and Audi, prompting several investors to call for Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche to cede control of Mercedes-Benz cars business to Wolfgang Bernhard. Zetsche asserted that he has no plans of doing this and that his position as the head of both Daimler and Mercedes made him more effective.

He said that “if he wasn't deeply anchored in its operating business," he would be a worse CEO. It was in July 2005 that he was named as the head of Daimler.

He became responsible for Mercedes the next month after Eckhard Cordes (his rival to the CEO position and the current Mercedes chief back then) decided to quit. According to auto industry analyst Arndt Ellinghorst of Credit Suisse, Daimler shares require a catalyst to outperform.

Read the entire article Dieter Zetsche not ready to let Wolfgang Bernhard be the new Mercedes CEO

Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche told Motor Trend that the internal combustion engine is expected to dominate for “another one or two decades.” While the timeline comes as a surprise, it isn’t so far off from the other automakers’ predictions. Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik said that by 2015, about 15-20% of its fleet will be composed of hybrids, while 5% are fully electric or fuel cell.

Zetsche warned that within the next five years, no money will be made from vehicles that have alternative powertrains. However, Toyota is likely to contradict this statement since it has had success with the mass sales of its hybrids.

Mercedes unveiled its F125 concept at the recent Frankfurt Auto Show. It has been 125 years since this vehicle was invented by Mercedes. The F125 is a hydrogen fuel cell powered car that has a 620-mile range. It is equipped with an electric motor at each wheel and it generates an output of 231hp, enabling it go to from zero to 60mph in 4.9 seconds.

Read the entire article Combustion engines expected to dominate another decade or two, says Dieter Zetsche

Mercedes-Benz fans in the U.S. will surely be glad about Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche’s statement that all five variants of the new Mercedes-Benz compact A- and B-Class family will be available in the U.S. The first of these five variants will start selling in 2013 but Mercedes has yet to announce if it’s the A or B class.

Mercedes-Benz introduced the next-generation B class four-door, the first member of the family, at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week. This model will be offered in the U.S., according to Autonews. The features of the second-generation B-class include an all-new four cylinder engine with direct injection and turbocharging.

It is also available with a new diesel engine. Mercedes-Benz claims that the redesigned B-class would be the most spacious car in its class and will come with advanced assist systems, radar based collision warning system and PRE-SAFE.

Read the entire article U.S. may receive the Mercedes-Benz A- and B-Class family, says Dieter Zetsche
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