Daimler can look back on a tradition covering 130 years — a tradition that extends back to Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, the inventors of the automobile, and features pioneering achievements in automotive engineering. Today, the Daimler Group is a globally leading vehicle manufacturer with an unparalleled range of premium automobiles, trucks, vans and buses. The product portfolio is rounded out by a range of tailored financial services and mobility services. Daimler seeks to play a leading role in the digitization of products, services and processes in the automotive industry.
Daimler AG is the parent company of the Daimler Group and is domiciled in Stuttgart (Mercedesstraße 137, 70327 Stuttgart, Germany). The main business of Daimler AG is the development, production and distribution of cars, trucks and vans in Germany and the management of the Daimler Group. The management reports for Daimler AG and for the Daimler Group are combined in this management report.
With its strong brands, Daimler is active in nearly all the countries of the world. The Group has production facilities in a total of 19 countries and more than 8,500 sales centers worldwide. The global networking of research and development activities and of production and sales locations gives Daimler considerable advantages in the international competitive field and also offers additional growth opportunities. In addition, we can apply our innovative drive and safety technologies in a broad portfolio of vehicles while utilizing experience and expertise from all parts of the Group. This also helps us with the further development of autonomous driving technology, an area in which we play a pioneering role for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
In 2015, Daimler increased its revenue by 15 % to €149.5 billion. The individual divisions contributed to this total as follows: Mercedes-Benz Cars 54 %, Daimler Trucks 24 %, Mercedes-Benz Vans 7 %, Daimler Buses 3 % and Daimler Financial Services 12 %. At the end of 2015, Daimler employed a total workforce of more than 284,000 people worldwide.
The products supplied by the Mercedes-Benz Cars division comprise a broad spectrum of premium vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz brand and its Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach sub-brands. These vehicles range from the compact models of the A-Class and B-Class to a highly varied program of sport utility vehicles, roadsters, coupes and convertibles, and S-Class luxury sedans. The portfolio is rounded out by the new Mercedes me sub-brand and the high-quality small cars of the smart brand. The main country of manufacture is Germany, but the division also has production facilities in the United States, China, France, Hungary, Romania, South Africa, India, Vietnam and Indonesia, and at Valmet Automotive in Finland. In the medium term, we anticipate significant growth in worldwide demand for automobiles and above-average growth in the premium car segment. In order to ensure that we can exploit this potential, we are creating additional production capacities, especially at Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC) in China and at our plants in the United States and India. We will also expand our global production network with a new plant in Brazil, where we will produce the next generation of the C-Class as well as the GLA compact SUV for the local market starting in 2016. Together with our partner Renault-Nissan, we are now establishing an assembly plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, which will also begin manufacturing compact vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz brand in 2018. The most important markets for Mercedes-Benz Cars in 2015 were China with 20 % of unit sales, the United States (18 %), Germany (15 %) and the other markets of Western Europe (24 %).
As the biggest globally active manufacturer of trucks above 6 metric tons gross vehicle weight, Daimler Trucks develops and produces vehicles in a global network under the brands Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Western Star, FUSO and BharatBenz. The division’s 26 production facilities are located in the NAFTA region (14), Europe (7), Asia (3 ) and South America (2). In China, Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co., Ltd. (BFDA), a joint venture with our Chinese partner Beiqi Foton Motor Co., Ltd., has been producing trucks under the Auman brand name since 2012. Daimler Trucks’ product range includes light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks for local and long-distance deliveries and construction sites, as well as special vehicles used mainly in municipal applications. Due to close links in terms of production technology, the division’s product range also includes the buses of the Thomas Built Buses and FUSO brands. Daimler Trucks’ most important sales markets in 2015 were the NAFTA region with 38 % of unit sales, Asia (29 %), Western Europe (13 %) and Latin America excluding Mexico (6 %).
The product range of the Mercedes-Benz Vans division in the segment for mid-size and large vans comprises the Sprinter and Vito series. Our portfolio is rounded out at the lower end by the Mercedes-Benz Citan city van, the addition of which makes us a full-range supplier in the van market. In 2014, we also launched the V-Class, which is a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). Mercedes-Benz Vans has manufacturing facilities at a total of nine locations in Germany, Spain, the United States and Argentina, as well as in China within the framework of the Fujian Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. joint venture, and in France in the context of the strategic alliance with Renault-Nissan. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic is produced under license by our partner GAZ in Russia. The most important markets for vans at the moment are in Western Europe, which accounts for 65 % of unit sales. As part of the “Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global” business strategy, we are also increasingly developing the growth markets of South America and Asia, as well as the Russian van market. In addition, we plan to more effectively exploit the potential of the expanding North American van market in the future, and to this end we expanded our range of products in that market in 2015 by launching the Vito under the name Metris. With our new production location for the next-generation Sprinter in South Carolina in the United States (construction to begin in 2016), we will also improve our cost position in this major sales market.
The Daimler Buses division with its brands Mercedes-Benz and Setra is the undisputed industry leader in the segment for buses above 8 metric tons in its core markets. The division’s product range comprises city and intercity buses, coaches and bus chassis. The largest of the division’s 14 production sites are located in Germany, France, Spain, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. In the year under review, a new bus plant was opened at the production location in Chennai, India. Front-engine buses are produced there to meet the requirements of the Indian volume market with bodies from the British bus manufacturer Wrightbus. Rear-engine buses for the premium segment are built and sold under the Mercedes-Benz brand name in India. Another new bus plant started producion last year in Funza near Bogotá, Colombia. In 2015, Daimler Buses generated 58 % of its revenue in Western Europe and 18 % in Latin America (excluding Mexico). While we mainly sell fully equipped buses in Europe, our business in Latin America, Mexico, Africa and Asia is focused on the production and distribution of bus chassis.
The Daimler Financial Services division supports the sales of the Daimler Group’s automotive brands in more than 40 countries. Its product portfolio primarily consists of tailored financing and leasing packages for customers and dealers, but also insurance brokering, fleet management services, investment products and credit cards, as well as various mobility services such as the “moovel” mobility platform, the “mytaxi” app and the flexible car2go mobility concept. The main areas of the division’s activities are Western Europe and North America, and increasingly Asia as well. During the year under review, Daimler Financial Services financed or leased nearly 50 % of the vehicles sold by the Daimler Group. The division’s contract volume of €116.7 billion covers more than 3.7 million vehicles. Daimler Financial Services also holds a 45 % interest in the Toll Collect consortium, which operates an electronic toll-charging system for trucks on highways in Germany.
Daimler is also active in the global automotive industry and related sectors through a broad network of subsidiaries, associated companies, joint ventures and cooperations. The statement of investments of Daimler AG in accordance with Section 313 of the German Commercial Code (HGB) can be found in Note 39 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.