“Best Global Brands 2018” – the star shines: Mercedes-Benz is the world’s most valuable premium automobile brand

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Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz was able to further increase its brand value and is once again the world’s most valuable premium car brand. In the current “Best Global Brands 2018” ranking by the renowned U.S. brand consulting company Interbrand, Mercedes-Benz again climbed places in the top ten most valuable global brands and now is ranked on 8th place. Mercedes-Benz is still the only European brand in the top ten. Compared with 2017, the value of the brand grew by two percent to 48.6 billion dollars. Mercedes-Benz has continually increased its value since 2009.

“It is great news that the value of the Mercedes-Benz brand has further increased”, says Britta Seeger, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. “Once again we are the world’s most valuable premium automobile brand and are thus holding our ground in a field surrounded by big technology and consumer brands. We are delighted that people reward our new products such as the fully-electric EQC, our bold marketing campaigns such as the Grow Up campaign and new dialogue formats such as the ‘me Convention’.”

The strengths of the Mercedes-Benz brand lie in its long tradition, great innovative strength, the will to constantly reinvent itself and the abiding principle of its founding fathers only to be satisfied with the best. From the invention of the automobile to the largest manufacturer of luxury vehicles and a provider of comprehensive mobility services – Mercedes-Benz always looks for the best answers to the mobility needs of people.

Global study on brand valuation This year marks the 19th time that the annual “Best Global Brands” study has been published by Interbrand. The study is considered by leading CEOs worldwide to represent the competitive benchmark for the value of international brands. The study is designed to identify the world’s 100 most valuable brands. Interbrand’s brand valuation considers the three aspects “financial performance of the brand’s products or services”, “role of the brand in the purchase decision-making process” and “strength of the brand in relation to safeguarding the company’s future revenue”. This method is the first one to be successfully certified according to ISO 10668:2010 – an international standard that defines the basic requirements on procedures and methods for determining the monetary value of a brand.

Mercedes-Benz also occupies first place among worldwide premium automobile manufacturers in the current “Global 500 2018” ranking by the US brand valuation company Brand Finance. 500 brands were examined in the course of this study. Mercedes-Benz is in 15th place (20th place in 2017) as the most valuable European brand, with a brand value of 43.9 billion dollars (a 24 percent increase over 2017). The jury expressly recognized the modernization of the brand, and the marketing and social media activities to reach new, younger target groups.

The complete Best Global Brands ranking can be found under at www.bestglobalbrands.com

Source: Daimler Press Release

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Mercedes-Benz plant Sindelfingen starts production of the Compact SUV GLA

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The ‘Innovation Factory‘ at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant: the Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant Michael Bauer (left) and Ergun Lümali, Chairman of the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen Works Council (right) are celebrating the start of production of the compact SUV GLA with the team.

“With the GLA, the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant is producing a compact model for the first time proving its high flexibility. With the project ‘Innovation Factory’ we are shaping the future of production at Mercedes-Benz Cars. At the same time we are supporting our global production network by providing quickly additional capacities. Our employees contribute a major part with their long-term experience and a high level of motivation”, explains Michael Bauer.

The production of the compact SUV GLA at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant, which is about 20 km away of the company headquarters in Stuttgart, marks the starting point for the pilot project ‘Innovation Factory’. Cutting-edge production technologies which feature the ‘Factory 56’, one of the most modern car productions, are tested previously in the ‘Innovation Factory’: from innovative Industry 4.0 solutions to a work organization with flexible working models, the project covers almost all aspects of a future-oriented production.


Mercedes-Benz Cars: World premier of the “Factory 56” – the most modern car production in the world

Mercedes-Benz turns idea of employees into success stories


“We do have a highly qualified team that compensates order peaks of the GLA production. Thus Sindelfingen is proving its leading role as an innovation and competence center for new technologies. We, the works councils, are getting closer to our aim producing more vehicles in Sindelfingen. Our effort is to prepare the plant for future challenges and to ensure the employment. I am pleased, that our hard work paid off to make the location strong for the future”, says Ergun Lümali.

The GLA has been rolling off the production line at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant since 2013, and also at the Chinese production site of Beijing Benz Automotive Corporation (BBAC) in Beijing since 2015. Since the market launch of the GLA in 2014, more than 500,000 customers have already chosen the compact SUV. Rastatt, the lead plant for the GLA as well as for the A- and B-Class, is running at its full capacity. The production of the vehicle in Sindelfingen creates additional capacities until the end of the product life cycle. For the first time a compact vehicle with front-wheel drive is produced at the Sindelfingen plant, known as the center of competence for rear-wheel drive vehicles in the luxury and upper-range classes.

The GLA is characterized by its sportily dynamic design idiom, light-footed handling and extensive individualization range. As the first compact SUV from Mercedes-Benz it brought a breath of fresh air to its market segment and established itself there as a major player. In 2017 the GLA was most successful in the markets China, USA, Germany and Great Britain. The GLA portfolio meets all individual mobility requirements of its customers.

About the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant

The Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant is the center of competence for upper-range and luxury-class vehicles, and also the lead plant for the production of the S- and E-Class model series. This will also be the location for the prospective production of electric vehicles of the new EQ product and technology brand. Together with the central production organization of Mercedes-Benz Cars, the plant employs a workforce of more than 25,000. The site is the location for the production of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (Sedan and Estate), the CLS, the S-Class (Sedan, Coupé and Cabriolet), the Mercedes-Maybach and the Mercedes-AMG GT family. Around 250 vehicles a day are delivered at the Mercedes-Benz customer center in Sindelfingen.

Source: Daimler Global Media Site

Daimler Mobility Services purchases Europcar Group’s 25% stake in car2go Europe GmbH

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*Image for illustrative purpose only
  • Daimler Mobility Services to hold 100% of car2go Europe after approval by the relevant authorities
  • Daimler is poised to further expand its mobility portfolio
  • car2go Group has more than 3 million users worldwide

Stuttgart. Daimler Mobility Services announced today that it will acquire the 25 percent stake in car2go Europe GmbH from joint venture partner Europcar Group. The acquisition means that following approval of the transaction by the relevant authorities, 100 percent of the car2go Europe shares are in the hands of Daimler Mobility Services. In 2012, car2go Europe GmbH was created as a joint-venture, owned 75% by Daimler and 25% by Europcar. Today, car2go Group is present in Europe, North America and China, and has more than 3 million users worldwide.

“Over the course of the last several months, we have intensified our investments in mobility services in order to create a holistic mobility system with a broad portfolio. As part of this strategy, we decided to fully acquire the remaining shares in car2go Europe,” stated Daimler’s Head of Mobility Services Jörg Lamparter. “We want to thank Europcar for their great support as we went from a car sharing start up to the leading car sharing company in the world,” Lamparter continued.

Daimler is poised to further expand its mobility portfolio

Daimler Mobility Services is poised to further expand its mobility portfolio, expand its customer base and enhance the customer experience through bundled mobility products. With the customer insights gained through 24 million rentals for both combustion engines and electric cars alone in 2017, car2go has laid the ground work for Daimler’s CASE strategy as the company shifts to a fully connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicle portfolio. Today, car2go has algorithms which predict mobility demand and the fleets are strategically moved to optimize maximum usage and meet demand. The goal is to develop the required expertise and resources so that we are a leader in the future business with self-driving cars.

“I want to thank Europcar for their collaboration in supporting car2go’s expansion across Europe. We have collectively transformed car sharing from a trend to a lifestyle and have created a mobility community,” stated Olivier Reppert, CEO car2go Group.

Caroline Parot, Europcar Group’s Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We want to thank the Daimler Group for our longstanding partnership since 2012 within car2go Europe. This investment has taught us a great deal about car sharing.”

17.8 million customers are registered with car2go, moovel and mytaxi

In addition to car2go, Daimler Mobility Services is responsible for moovel and mytaxi: The mobility platform moovel offers on-demand access to various mobility offers, including booking and payment. mytaxi is a market leader amongst the taxi hailing apps in Europe. Moreover, Daimler Mobility Services holds minority stakes in Blacklane, Careem, Flixbus, Turo and Via. Almost 18 million customers are registered with car2go, moovel and mytaxi, which are offered in more than 100 cities in Europe, North America and China.

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Daimler invests in the start-up Anagog

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Sabine Scheunert, Vice President of Digital and IT for Marketing & Sales Mercedes-Benz Cars announced the investment of Daimler AG in the start-up Anagog at the Mobile World Congress 2018.
  • Investment intensifies cooperation
  • Analysis and prediction of user behaviour with the aid of artificial intelligence
  • EQ Ready App already on the German market

Stuttgart/Tel Aviv – Daimler AG is intensifying its cooperation with the start-up Anagog Ltd. Daimler has participated in a financing round together with MizMaa Ventures, a venture capital company located in California. Based in Tel Aviv, Anagog has developed software which analyses user behavior directly in the mobile phone with the aid of the various on-handset sensors, and on the basis of artificial intelligence it predicts future movement scenarios.

Through this data analysis the mobile handset understands what the user is doing and the environment in which they are located. This means that various contextual services can be generated to improve the user experience. Anagog’s patented technology changes the rules of the game when it comes to using artificial intelligence on mobile phones and other wearables, without the aid of any backend servers.


The Mobility Status Company from ANAGOG

“We want to make the best digital services available not just to our customers, but to all mobile phone owners. We are improving every digital touchpoint in the mobility behaviour of our customers and thus increasing their independence”, says Sabine Scheunert, Vice President of Digital and IT for Marketing & Sales Mercedes-Benz Cars. “With the investment in Anagog we are a big step closer to achieving this goal. This step also fits with the strategic approach taken by Daimler AG in investing in appropriate start-ups and supporting them as they grow.”

A significant advantage of the Anagog development “JedAI SDK” (Software Development Kit) here is the high data and privacy protection which grants the users full control over their data, as no data transfer to a backend server is required.

Anagog was founded in 2010 and in 2017 it participated in the start-up programme ‘The Bridge’ supported by Mercedes-Benz. The first joint development has already been on the German market since September 2017 in the form of the EQ Ready App. This app helps motorists decide whether it makes sense for them personally to switch to an electric car or hybrid. The smartphone app can record real journeys made by the user and compare it with numerous parameters of electric and hybrid vehicles. This makes it possible to try out e-mobility in a virtual yet realistic way. The EQ Ready app also recommends which electric or hybrid car model from smart or Mercedes-Benz best matches the user’s individual needs.

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Geely Founder Li Shufu is a new shareholder of Daimler AG

The share purchase makes Li Shufu currently the single largest shareholder of Daimler AG

(Hangzhou / Stuttgart) Geely Group, a company owned by Li Shufu and managed by Zheijang Geely Holding Group, has acquired a 9.7 percent stake of Daimler AG, Stuttgart through open market purchases of shares. The company made regulatory disclosures after the close of markets yesterday.

“Daimler is an outstanding company with a first-class management. It will be an honor to support this unique team under the leadership of Dieter Zetsche in the future,” said Li Shufu, chairman and owner of Zheijang Geely Holding Group. “I am particularly pleased to accompany Daimler on its way to becoming the world’s leading electro-mobility provider.”

The share purchase makes Li Shufu currently the single largest shareholder of Daimler AG and points to a long-term commitment. For the time being neither Geely Group nor any other company in the Zheijang Geely Holding Group intend to acquire additional shares. Li Shufu said he will fully abide by the company charter and governance structure of Daimler AG and respect its values and culture.

With revenue exceeding RMB 270 billion (USD 42.7 billion) in 2017, the Zheijang Geely Holding Group is China’s largest privately owned automotive manufacturing company and one of the world’s leading providers of electro-mobility. Major assets of the group include leading Chinese automaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., Hangzhou (46 percent), Volvo Cars, Gothenburg, Sweden (100 percent), Volvo Trucks, Gothenburg, Sweden (8.2 percent), Lotus Motor Cars, Norfolk, UK (51 percent), Proton Cars, Malaysia (49.9 percent), London Taxi, Coventry, UK (100 percent) and China’s largest car-sharing provider, Cao Cao (100 percent), operating a fleet of around 16.000 electric vehicles worldwide.

Li Shufu: “The competitors which technologically challenge the global car industry in the 21st century are not part of the automotive industry today. But with challenges come opportunities. No current car industry player will be able to win this battle against the invaders from outside independently. In order to succeed and seize the technology highland, one has to have friends, partners, and alliances and adapt a new way of thinking in terms of sharing and united strength. And we have act now. My investment in Daimler reflects this strategic vision.”

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Research campus ARENA2036 – The event “Tomorrow” provides an outlook on mobility and production of the future

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  • For the ARENA2036 research campus, the University of Stuttgart supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has constructed one of the world’s largest, most modern and most flexible research facilities for production and mobility.
  • In the research areas production and work as well as mobility in the context of digitisation, new ideas are being created for the cutting-edge scientific and technological developments of the day after tomorrow.
  • At the event “Tomorrow” 800 prominent guests from the sciences, industry and politics will be able to experience the future at the ARENA2036 research campus.
  • Part of the show will be panel discussions with EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, the Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, the Rector of the University of Stuttgart, Prof. Wolfram Ressel and the Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, as well as scientists and future researchers in the fields of mobility and production. 

Stuttgart. In the context of digitization in the automotive industry, the ARENA2036 research campus has become a lighthouse institution in the fields of production, work and the mobility of the future. ARENA2036 is the world’s largest and leading research campus for transformable production including functionally integrated lightweight construction. Approximately one year after moving into a state of the art building complex, and some five years after its formation, ARENA2036 will hold the two-day event “Tomorrow” on 22th of February 2018 to present the results and visions achieved to date: On invitation of Prof. Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart and Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, politicians, representatives of the automotive industry and scientists will discuss the production and mobility of the future with experts from various disciplines. These include Günther H. Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr. Michael Bolle, Head of Research and Advance Engineering at Robert Bosch GmbH, and Bernd Becker, Chief Technology Strategist of automotive supplier FARO. Afterwards, ARENA2036 will give an insight into the four research areas of Production2036, Work2036 and Mobility2036 as well as Digitisation2036 as a cross-sectional topic. On the second day, 23 February, the exhibition will be open to the public.

“ARENA2036 not only strengthens the Stuttgart region and Germany as an industrial cluster with its inter-disciplinary research, but also ensures an optimal technology transfer with its innovative and pioneering model of cooperation under one roof. It is good to see so many guests coming to our research factory at the University of Stuttgart to witness the results from the first five years of fascinating shared effort”, Prof. Wolfram Ressel commented on the event referring to the positive experiences and results of the first phase in these joint projects.

“With their innovations, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz have started a mobility revolution all over the world. In Baden-Württemberg, we have great opportunities for innovation with a unique cluster of cutting-edge technologies that is unique in the world: suppliers, technology companies and automobile manufacturers. Nowadays, with digitisation profound changes are happening extremely fast. The global automotive industry therefore needs strong and unconventional answers to the visionary questions of mobility and the future of work. One of them is ARENA2036,” explained Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, and patron of ARENA2036.

Important meaning for Germany as a scientific and industrial location

At ARENA2036, 31 partners working under one roof on the Vaihingen campus of the University of Stuttgart, where they combine fundamental scientific research with industrial application. On some 10,000 sq. m. all partners are working on pre-competitive solutions, which they will eventually use in their own applications. The interplay between a wide range of disciplines and areas of expertise creates scope for innovative ideas. The event “Tomorrow” provides a unique insight into topics and projects of the partners.

“ARENA2036 shows in an exemplary way how a successful cooperation between university research institutions and the automotive industry can find innovative answers to the challenges of mobility of the future across industry boundaries,” said Minister President Winfried Kretschmann. “Politics can provide incentives for technological developments and promising networks. For this reason, for example, the state government has also initiated the strategic dialogue on the automotive industry in order to contribute its share to shaping the future of mobility.”

Dr. Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, acknowledges ARENA2036 as an outstanding example for close and long-term collaboration between science and industry: “With the Research Campus Initiative, we are promoting a new type of strategic cooperation between science and industry at selected locations in Germany. In Stuttgart, the ARENA2036 research factory redesigns and implements the entire value chain of the fully digitised vehicle. In this way, the future of mobility and production will be fundamentally re-imagined. We consider this a groundbreaking model and will expand it to other areas of research as well.”


Also read:

Automotive Startups: Accelerator program for startups working on future of mobility

Porsche joins “Startup Autobahn” platform


ARENA2036 research campus: fast-moving development during the first project phase

ARENA2036 is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the programme “Research campus – public and private partnership for innovations”. The BMBF supports the research campus, which was chosen by an independent jury, with up to two million euros annually over a period of up to 15 years.

ARENA2036 was already founded in 2013 by the following seven founding members: the University of Stuttgart, the German Institute for Textile and Fibre Research in Denkendorf, the German Centre for Aerospace, the Fraunhofer Society, Daimler AG, BASF SE and Robert Bosch GmbH. Since then, the number of partners has increased to 31 – from suppliers and IT service providers to automobile manufacturers and research institutes. Under the roof of ARENA2036, science and industry work hand in hand and inspire each other. In line with the motto “Industry on Campus”, the partners of ARENA2036 “join.create.move.”.

The research portfolio has developed at breakneck speed since 2013. Around 90 research projects have been initiated during this first sponsoring phase. Experts employed by the partners are now researching in a highly modern working environment. The construction cost of around 30 million Euros for the research campus was equally financed by the University of Stuttgart and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union. ARENA2036 will enter the second project phase this year. An initial outlook is given at the topic bays presented at the event.

Themed worlds – ARENA2036 researches into mobility, production, digitization and work

Peter Froeschle, General Manager of ARENA2036, finally took the guests into the future – illustrated by the four topic bays Production2036, Work2036 and Mobility2036 with Digitization2036 as cross-sectional topic. These are all interlinked, and have project-related interfaces. Within the individual research areas, interaction and the exchange of project results lead to new concepts, technologies and follow-up projects. The research and development for modern Industry 4.0 applications and intuitive technologies focusing on human beings also play an important role.

The research area Mobility2036 focusses on innovative, vehicle-related technologies – from the development of functionally integrated and intelligent components to future-oriented materials and connectivity for the customer. Vehicles of the future will be lighter in weight, consume less energy and consist of fewer components. Structures, functions and design will change. The focus is always on the needs of users. Current technology aspects such as connectivity, autonomous driving, sharing services and electric drive systems are the starting point for the future research activities of ARENA2036 in the area of Mobility2036. Fundamental research also provides a basis for the development of new mobility concepts.

Another research area of ARENA2036 is dedicated to fully digitise process chains and their simulation. All the stages are digitally represented, from component development and every production stage to the use of a vehicle by the customer. This means that data from each individual process step can be automatically transferred and used for improvements. In the future, intelligent components will therefore communicate with production machinery, employees and customers – so in the production environment of the day after tomorrow, all components, machines and employees will be connected. The aim is to predict impending challenges more rapidly, and to optimise the quality of processes and products. In this way digitisation and Big Data will become the drivers of innovation activities.

Communication between people and machines – with and amongst each other – is the subject matter of the research area Work2036. Artificial Intelligence will become the interface bringing two worlds together with different languages, and helps them to understand each other. Research into semantic inter-relationships will enable human knowledge to be linked to databases throughout the world. Particularly where information from other sectors is concerned, Artificial Intelligence will help people to select, transform and implement mobility and production research. Another research aspect of Work2036 covers the way in which we work together – more interactively, internationally and creatively.

The Production2036 area shows perspectives for future innovative production. The idea: The Industry 4.0 production comprises a modular structure with a wide range of workstations that are intelligently networked by sensors. Within the workstations, employees can flexibly combine different machines. In this way they can design their production environment themselves. They can arrange tools, robots and machines in accordance with their own needs and the continuously changing production program. In this way the workplace of the future will be more flexible and demand-related. Intelligent components will communicate with production machinery and employees, exchanging information within a virtual network.

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Daimler and HERE to bring HD Live Map to future Mercedes-Benz models

HERE HD Live Map constantly publishes changes to the map through an innovative content validation process, where multiple vehicle sensors act as a “closed loop” to detect any deviations from the published data.

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Amsterdam/Stuttgart – Daimler and HERE Technologies have teamed up to make HERE HD Live Map an integral part of Daimler’s autonomous driving technology. With these efforts both companies are laying the ground work for upcoming generations of highly automated and autonomous Mercedes-Benz vehicles* to come to market with the benefits of HD Live Map on board. For Daimler, this is a logical step as the current E- and S-class models are already using maps from HERE.

Highly precise digital maps are a key component for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. The machine-readable, cloud-based HD Live Map allows an automated vehicle to effectively ‘see around corners’ and consists of multiple layers of information essential for it to know where exactly it is, what lies ahead and what it should do in various scenarios.

Maps from cars for cars: self-healing maps require large amounts of vehicle sensor data

HERE has created HD Live Map to be “self-healing”. This means it can reflect dynamic changes in the road environment and update itself accordingly in near real-time. This enables vehicles to proactively adjust to changing road conditions – for example, switching lanes and adjusting speed ahead of time in the case of an upcoming lane closure.

Vehicle sensor data is the most crucial element for an HD map to self-heal because of its quality, and the sheer volume of vehicles on the road that can detect and validate change. HERE is already receiving rich vehicle sensor data from multiple automakers, including Daimler, to produce near real-time map updates. With passenger safety top of mind, HERE HD Live Map constantly publishes changes to the map through an innovative content validation process, where multiple vehicle sensors act as a “closed loop” to detect any deviations from the published data.

“The map of the future is one that’s self-healing – constantly updating to mirror what is happening across the road network” said Ralf Herrtwich, SVP Automotive at HERE Technologies. “Together with Daimler, we are mastering this powerful mapping technology and are truly excited to make it available for the next generations of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.”

Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, emphasized: “Maps with centimeter precision updating itself in near real-time, is one key element for autonomous driving. With the new HD Live Map and the rich, continuously growing information it provides we are taking a big step on the way towards autonomous driving.”

*Vehicles with level 3-5 automation, as defined by SAE International.

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