Automaker Daimler AG to Formally be Rebranded as Mercedes-Benz Group on Feb 1
【Summary】Germany's Daimler AG, which is the parent company of luxury brand Mercedes-Benz, is renaming itself after its luxury nameplate after almost 100 years. On Tuesday, Feb 1, the company will officially be named “Mercedes Benz Group AG”. The automaker believes that the name change will help it to unlock shareholder value for the premium carmaker as the auto industry moves towards electrification.
German vehicle manufacturer Daimler AG, which is the parent company of luxury brand Mercedes-Benz, is renaming itself after its luxury nameplate after almost 100 years. On Tuesday, Feb 1, the company will officially be named "Mercedes Benz Group AG".
The move comes nearly a year after the spin-off of the company's truck and bus business and the subsequent listing of Daimler Truck Holding AG as an independent company. The move to spin off the truck division was approved by 99.90% of shareholders on Oct 1, 2021.
The Mercedes brand was officially adopted by Daimler AG in 1902 and named after the daughter of Austrian automobile entrepreneur Emil Jellinek.
The automaker believes that the name change will help it to unlock shareholder value for the premium carmaker as the auto industry moves towards electrification.
In the future, Mercedes-Benz might be viewed in the same way luxury electric brands Lucid Group and Tesla that only offer electric vehicles, which may help it better compete in the premium electric category that's currently dominated by Tesla.
"Investors could start viewing Mercedes as a Lucid Motors or Tesla type and start to give it an EV (electric vehicle) multiple," European auto analyst at RBC Capital Markets Tom Narayan said to Reuters. "But Lucid and Tesla get to start at 100% EV. For Mercedes you have to convert your existing ICE (internal combustion engine) business to EVs. That may be a limitation on how far the multiple could go near-term."
Other automakers too have plans to electrify their model lineups beginning with their premium brands. For example, General Motors plans to transition Cadillac into an electric-only luxury brand, while Ford has the same plans for its luxury division Lincoln.
South Korean automaker Hyundai is also doing the same with its premium Genesis brand, which will only offer electric vehicles by the end of the decade.
In July, Daimler announced it was ramping up its electrification plans and will only produce fully-electric passenger vehicles by 2030.
For a company that invented the automobile way back in 1886, the switch to electric marks the end of an era for Mercedes Benz, but the start of a new one. The move also reflects the transformation of the global auto industry to producing more battery-powered vehicles.
To reach its goal of electric only vehicles by 2030, the Mercedes-Benz Group will invest heavily in R&D. In total, investments into battery electric vehicles between 2022 and 2030 will amount to over US$47 billion, the company said.
Beginning in 2025, all newly launched Mercedes-Benz Group vehicle architectures will be electric-only and customers will be able to choose an all-electric alternative for every model the automaker sells. Mercedes Benz Group is targeting a range of over 600 miles for its future EVs.
Mercedes-Benz is currently ramping up plans to prepare its global manufacturing network for electric-only vehicles. The automaker has already made investments in flexible manufacturing for EVs. The pieces are already in place. Mercedes-Benz says it can begin the mass production of electric vehicles now.
Soon Mercedes-Benz might be thought of as a luxury electric vehicle producer, instead of just a luxury automaker.
In April of last year, Mercedes Benz unveiled the production form of the EQS electric sedan after two years of teasing various concepts. The EQS is a futuristic electric sedan that's essentially an electric alternative to the company's gas-powered S-Class models. Daimler said the EQS is the world's first "luxury-class" electric sedan.
The EQS is the first built on a new, dedicated electric vehicle platform.
Mercedes Benz will also introduce a pair of SUVs that will be based on the same Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA platform) that underpins the EQS sedan.
In addition to becoming an electric automaker, all future Mercedes-Benz Group vehicles will be software-based and support OTA updates for the life of the vehicle just like a smartphone.
The rebranded Mercedes-Benz Group expects that rising revenue from digital services, such as OTA features that customers can download to their vehicles, will further help it meet its margin targets, which might help keep shareholders happy.
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