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Stuttgart. Germany's first Formula One world champion in a Silver Arrow, Nico Rosberg, will meet 500 selected motor sport enthusiasts at a fan event on the open-air stage outside the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Those wishing to attend can register at classic@daimler.com with the subject line "Fan event Nico Rosberg". Speed is of the essence, because only the first 300 fans - each with a companion - will be there on Monday, 21 August between 12.30 and 2 pm. The event will be moderated by Heiko Wasser, sports journalist and Formula One commentator.

The vehicle driven by the 2016 Formula One world champion will once again cross the finishing line: Nico Rosberg will be there in person when his Mercedes-Benz F1 W07 Hybrid is added to the permanent exhibition at the Mercedes-Benz Museum on Monday, 21 August 2017 (non-public). With this, both driver and vehicle will take their places in the brand's long and successful motor sport tradition. Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, will welcome the racing driver on behalf of the company. The winning vehicle will be on view for all visitors to the Museum from Tuesday, 22 August during the normal opening times.

Special technology for vehicle logistics

The addition and removal of vehicles is a routine, yet each time exciting, activity at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. For vehicle logistics, the Mercedes-Benz Museum has extensive technology at its disposal, for moving even very large exhibits. The centrepiece is a custom-built 40-tonne crane with a cradle resembling a steel bridge. It operates in tandem with a hydraulic lifting platform located outside, at the rear wall of the Museum. It is used to raise the loaded crane cradle from road level to the level of the atrium. The cradle is borne by air cushions, and together with its load and despite the immense weight, it can be moved around the floor of the atrium relatively easily by remote control.

World champion Silver Arrow

Nico Rosberg is the first German driver to win the Formula One world championship in a Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow. The race series has been held since 1950. Rosberg made sure of the coveted title in the final race of the 2016 season. At the wheel of the F1 W07 Hybrid, the racing driver last year won a total of nine Grands Prix with five second-place finishes and two third places. The team as a whole was victorious in 19 out of 21 races, a new record. As the overall winner, Rosberg fulfilled a lifelong dream after ten years in Formula One. Five days after his magnificent triumph, he announced his retirement from active Formula One.

Hybrid technology in production vehicles

At the Mercedes-Benz Museum, the new Silver Arrow will join the ranks of iconic racing cars from over 120 years of Mercedes-Benz motor sport history. Each individual vehicle also represents an advance in technology. Since 2014, hybrid powertrains have been compulsory in Formula One – and since then both the drivers' world championship and the constructors' title have each year gone to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. This underscores the Stuttgart brand's expertise when it comes to developing alternative powertrains.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum is open daily from Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 6 pm. The ticket desk always closes at 5 pm. Registrations, reservations and the latest information: Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm by phone 0711 17-30000, by email classic@daimler.com or online at: www.mercedes-benz.com/museum
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C-Class / New special models and connectivity offers
« Last post by fasteddy on August 16, 2017, 11:13:08 AM »
Stuttgart. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, GLC and GLC Coupé are benefiting from numerous enhancements like the Smartphone Integration available for Audio 20 USB and Audio 20. The offering also includes sporty special models for the C-Class Saloon, Estate, Coupé and Cabriolet.

The Smartphone Integration is now available as an option for the Audio 20 USB and Audio 20 CD systems. With this equipment, expected to be available from the third quarter of this year, compatible smartphones with the appropriate operating system can be integrated into the vehicle via Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto and operated via voice control, for instance. Another new feature in the C‑Class and GLC is an Office function as part of the Mercedes me connect services. Mercedes drivers can use it to access important data directly in the car – as if they were in the office.

Additional protection from annoying light from the front or side is offered by the side-hinged sunblinds if the customer has chosen the optional variant with a pull-out design. As previously, on both sides there is a vanity mirror with LED illumination integrated into the insides. Also new as an optional extra is a sports exhaust system for the C 200, C 200 4MATIC and C 250 (fuel consumption combined: 7.2 - 5.6 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 162 - 126 g/km).

A special model with a sporty character is available for the C-Class Saloon and Estate. It builds on the AMG Exterior line and Avantgarde Interior design and equipment lines. AMG 5-spoke 18-inch light-alloy wheels painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, plus standard-fit LED High Performance headlamps add to the sporty exterior. The special features in the interior include the ambience lighting, the multifunction sports steering wheel with a flattened bottom section plus an exclusive trim combination of black open-pore ash wood in the centre console and light longitudinal-grain aluminium in the dashboard and doors. The special model is combinable with all the standard engines (not available for the AMG models C 43 and C 63).

A new addition to the model range of the C-Class Coupé and Cabriolet is the Night Edition, the exterior of which is based on the AMG Line and Night Package. Further features include exclusive AMG multi-spoke (19-inch) light-alloy wheels painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen rim flange and a special diamond radiator grille. It has pins in black plus a louvre in high-gloss black with a chrome insert. The interior corresponds to the AMG Line, supplemented by a multifunction sports steering wheel, with a flattened bottom section, in leather/DINAMICA microfibre and the "Night Edition" badge on the centre console.

A heated multifunction steering wheel is also available for both two-door models on request, and a two-pipe exhaust system is optionally available for the C 180 (fuel consumption combined: 6.2 - 5.3 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 140 - 122 g/km). Two nets beneath the rear seat cushions are now part of the Stowage Space package.

The Style Package is new for the C-Class Cabriolet. It enhances the sportily individual character in the interior with upholstery in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre in black/nut brown with contrasting top stitching in turquoise. The Cabriolet Comfort package also includes the semi-automatic boot separator. This enables the soft top to be conveniently opened via 1-way control at the press of a button. If the boot separator is in the upper position it automatically moves to the lower position. Manual closing is unnecessary thanks to this electrically triggered procedure.

As standard the C-Class Cabriolet now also has cruise control with a limiter as well as the Rear Seat Safety Package. This includes sidebags in the rear on the left and right plus adaptive belt force limiters on the outside.

Always on and more convenient parking: GLC and GLC Coupé

The GLC and GLC Coupé benefit from a wealth of detailed enhancements as well. The Smartphone Integration is also available here as an option for the Audio 20 USB and Audio 20 CD systems. In combination with Audio 20 USB a reversing camera or the Parking Pilot with 360° camera can be ordered.

In addition to this, for the GLC 250 4MATIC and the GLC 300 4MATIC (fuel consumption combined: 7.5 - 6.5 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 169 - 152 g/km) a sports exhaust system with valve control is available as an optional extra.
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Smart / 15 years of exclusive smart models from smart BRABUS
« Last post by fasteddy on August 03, 2017, 03:16:44 PM »
smart-BRABUS GmbH is a joint venture between smart and BRABUS and stands for premium automotive refinement. To mark this anniversary, smart is releasing an exclusive "15th anniversary edition" special model (fuel consumption, combined: 4.6-4.1 l/100 km; CO2 emissions, combined: 104-96 g/km; alternatively electrical consumption, combined: 12.9 kW/100 km; CO2 emissions, combined: 0 g/km) in a limited edition of 150 vehicles. A special feature is the individual paint finish in anniversary silver.

The 50:50 joint venture between smart and BRABUS was established in March 2002. The CEO of smart-BRABUS GmbH is BRABUS founder Bodo Buschmann. The smart BRABUS 1st Edition is presented at the Geneva Motor Show - initially as a design study. By June 2002 things had moved on: the 1st Edition became available in both coupé and cabrio form. Its distinguishing characteristics include an engine that has been uprated to 52 kW (70 hp), a sporty body kit and exclusive interior appointments featuring leather and carbon fibre. It is produced in a limited edition of 500 vehicles.

This recipe for success has been systematically followed and developed over the ensuing 15 years: smart BRABUS is synonymous with sports cars for the city. With added output, sporty suspension components and an exclusive look, both inside and out. Since March 2012, the more unusual customer requests have been met on an even more individual basis by smart BRABUS tailor made.

smart boss Annette Winkler says: " 15 years of smart BRABUS – a truly successful example of how major industry and smaller companies can work together in a way that allows each of them to display their individual strengths. The result is a company that is passionate about cars and about smart; highly competent, creative and really fast at turning ideas round. This anniversary gives us an opportunity to celebrate countlessly many one-off smarts, a vast amount of fun at the wheel, our enthusiastic customers and commercial success." BRABUS CEO Bodo Buschmann: "15 years of cooperation with smart have meant, for us, 15 years of creativity, joy and success. The idea of the exclusive small car has prevailed."

Anniversary marked by an exclusive gem: the "15th anniversary edition"

The defining characteristics of smart BRABUS are evident in the exclusive edition model released by smart BRABUS to celebrate 15 years of collaboration. The smart BRABUS "15th anniversary edition" looks stunning. The hallmarks of the edition model are its comprehensive package of appointments as well as its individual paint finish in anniversary silver and its tailor made leather package for the interior in espresso brown.

The elegant, sporty and, of course, especially exclusive edition model is available as a fortwo coupé or cabrio and with a choice of two turbocharged engines (66 kW and 80 kW; fuel consumption, combined: 4.6‑4.1 l/100 km; CO2 emissions, combined: 104-96 g/km) as well as in an electric drive variant (60 kW, coupé only; electrical consumption, combined: 12.9 kW/100 km; CO2 emissions, combined: 0 g/km). The special model will be produced in a limited edition of 150 units. It is available to order with immediate effect, with the first vehicles due to arrive with dealers towards the end of the year.

About BRABUS

BRABUS celebrates its 40th anniversary this year: the company was formed on 4 November 1977 by Bodo Buschmann. What started 40 years ago as an exclusive little tuning business in Bottrop is now the largest and most well-known customiser of Mercedes-Benz cars anywhere in the world. The company now employs more than 450 people in Germany, and a further 2500 around the world.

"The fact that we have this year for the eleventh time won the BEST BRAND Award, as voted by readers of the specialist magazine "auto motor und sport", is further evidence that we here at BRABUS are continuing to develop outstanding supercars and products and to sell them extremely successfully all over the world," says CEO and honorary professor Bodo Buschmann delightedly. "Being voted the most popular tuning brand once again also makes my team and me even more determined to continue working as hard as ever to meet the high expectations that the customers and friends of our company have of us, in every single respect."
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Formula One / 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix - Sunday
« Last post by fasteddy on August 02, 2017, 01:21:36 PM »
Valtteri Bottas
It was really tricky today. The pace was not so much a problem. But once you get within 1.5 seconds to the car in front of you it becomes so difficult to close the gap. And that track position was a big benefit for Ferrari today. Even though Sebastian was struggling, no-one could pass him. We tried as a team to swap positions, but Lewis couldn't get past them either. We didn’t gain any points but I’m glad we tried it. I was promised that Lewis would let me back if it didn't work out. I was struggling with the back markers so the gap to Lewis became bigger than I wanted. But Lewis and the team kept their promise and we swapped positions back in the last lap. I don't think every team-mate would do that in a championship fight, so I think that was really nice of him and it shows that he is a real team player. Our situations still is not too bad with regards to the points and the championship standing. Lewis and me are still in the fight.

Lewis Hamilton
I tried my best out there. It's tough when you push so hard and you work so hard and you end up in the same place that you started. When the radio didn't work, I was thinking that the team was worried about the tyres not going the distance. So maybe they were going slow so that they could speed up later. I was pushing and I had all this pace, but I was stuck behind Valtteri and I couldn't tell the team because of the radio. But in the final laps, I kept my word. I said that if I couldn’t pass Kimi then I would let Valtteri back. I have said through this year that I want to win this title in the right way – and perhaps I will look at it in a different way if, at the end of the season, I lose out by a small margin – but I believe in doing the right thing and that when you put good things out there, they come back to you. I was 20 points behind before, but down to one, and now back to 14. We have lost quite a few points in the first half of the year – but I know that we can win it, once we come back even better after the summer break.

Toto Wolff
Today was a tough day for the team but one that showed the values that we hold high. First of all, we cannot ultimately be satisfied with third and fourth places; we managed to limit the damage to Ferrari, and were fortunate that Red Bull accounted for themselves on the opening lap. So it’s positive that we didn’t lose too many points on a circuit where Ferrari had the upper hand. But it was also a great day for the team because we saw our ethos played out for everybody to see with great respect between Lewis and Valtteri. First, for Valtteri to let his team-mate past to put the pressure on Ferrari and try to challenge Kimi; second, for Lewis to sportingly give the place back in the final corner without losing any position to Verstappen. These are the values that helped us win six championships and, in the long term, it is the approach that will win us many more titles – even though it was a tough call to make and it’s not a great feeling afterwards. But we stick to our principles and our word. The race was made more challenging by problems in the garage that cost us radio comms with the cars at points during the race and also affected the data we had in the garage. That particularly affected our communication with Lewis and perhaps had an impact on the outcome today, as we could have played our strategy differently if the comms had been working properly. But now we have the time to take a step back, recharge the batteries and come back with renewed energy in the second part of the season. There is still everything to play for and both championships are wide open.

James Allison

We would have preferred to head into the summer break on the back of a result like the one we enjoyed in Silverstone, but in its own way this was a race that demonstrated many of the truly great things about this team. For the drivers to treat each other with such a degree of respect, that they both could have a go at attacking the Ferraris but then reverse the positions under intense pressure, was both extremely challenging and required a great deal of trust. To do it in such a professional manner, with the looming threat of Verstappen running right behind Valtteri, was a great thing. After a well-earned summer break, we will look forward to resuming the fight in this intense and intriguing championship, and all our focus will be on ensuring that, come the end of the season, the Mercedes flags are flying high.
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Formula One / 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix - Saturday
« Last post by fasteddy on August 02, 2017, 01:20:42 PM »
Valtteri Bottas
I had to give it everything today. In my first run, the lap was already quite good. Then on the second run in Q3, I was fast in sector one and two but then the tyres overheated and I lost time in sector three. Overall I don't think there was much more in it for us today. I was surprised by the pace of Ferrari. Yesterday we were hoping that it going to be a really tight fight for the pole. It was but they had the advantage. Now we need to focus on tomorrow. It will be really close on race pace between the top three teams. Starting from third is not too bad. I need a good start and hopefully we can nail the strategy tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton
This hasn’t been the easiest weekend for us. The car didn’t feel completely underneath me during practice but we made some changes into qualifying and the feeling started to improve. We knew Ferrari would be quick after seeing their pace this morning, so considering that fact I think we did pretty well to lock out row two. My laps in qualifying were generally good but I made a mistake in Turn 4 on the first run in Q3, so after that it was all about getting in a banker lap to make sure I set a time. Looking to the race, maybe strategy or the tyres will come into play in a bigger way. Ferrari seems to have the upper hand this weekend and this race is usually a procession on a circuit where it is hard to follow, so there aren’ t many opportunities to gain positions. But we will be giving it everything we can.

Toto Wolff
The biggest positive point we can take from today was the step forward we made with the car between FP3 and qualifying. After a difficult morning, this put us back in the hunt for pole, but in the end we didn’t have enough at this circuit against Ferrari. Valtteri only missed out on a place on the front row by a small fraction of a second – but this also means he will start from the clean side of the grid. For Lewis, the car has been on a bit of a knife edge all weekend and, after he ran wide on his first lap in Q3, that put him on the back foot for the final run. When you only have one lap that counts, it’s hard to pull everything out of the car – and we knew we needed to squeeze every last drop of performance today if we were to get close to pole. Of course, starting behind two red cars doesn’t make life any easier but it’s a long run to turn one – and this is a circuit where the unexpected can happen. The strategy options look pretty straightforward, so we will need to do our racing out on track not in the pits. It will be an exciting but tough afternoon tomorrow.

James Allison

We made some good steps forward with the car after third practice but they were not sufficient to beat a fast pair of Ferraris today. We can be happy that we are now extracting consistent performance from the SuperSoft compound, which was a concern for us earlier in the weekend, but now all our focus shifts to the Grand Prix – and we had pretty solid pace during the runs in race trim on Friday.
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Formula One / 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix - Friday
« Last post by fasteddy on August 02, 2017, 01:19:50 PM »
Valtteri Bottas
We have some work to do. The three teams at the front seemed very close. I was not quite happy with the balance of the car today and I was especially struggling with the rear end. The temperatures are expected to rise tomorrow, which means that we really need to get the rear end of the car more stable. I think that will be the main area for us to focus on. It should be interesting tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton
It wasn’t the easiest start to the weekend, with the conditions very gusty. We end the day in fifth but there’s clearly good pace in the car. It’s super tight between Ferrari, Red Bull and ourselves at the top of the leaderboard, so it’s looking like it will be an exciting weekend. That should be good for the fans! There’s some more work to do overnight to fine-tune the balance to get the car just where we want it and I believe the pace is in there. We just need to unlock it ahead of qualifying because every tenth is going to be crucial with three teams in the mix.

James Allison

I guess after all the fun of Silverstone, it's back down to hard work here in Hungary. The leading cars are all very close and it's going to be a proper fight this weekend. The car has been reliable, and we improved the balance of the car from this morning. But we clearly still got more work to do before we achieve the right balance between having a quick car in qualifying and one that will have good tyre usage in the race.
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Motorsports / Mercedes-AMG GT4 – a new class of performance
« Last post by fasteddy on August 01, 2017, 10:13:40 AM »
Affalterbach – A production-based concept, convincing safety features, proven competition technology, high efficiency, fully matured vehicle development: that is the Mercedes-AMG GT4. With the new race car, Mercedes-AMG GT4 is entering another GT racing category that stands out for its dynamic growth. Race series all over the world provide an attractive mix of demanding sprint races and legendary endurance races that allow for an increasing number of opportunities to compete with GT4 machinery.

“The GT4 segment is getting more and more popular. The production-based concept is an important factor, especially when you want to get started in motorsport as a team or as a driver. For some teams, the GT4 category also serves as a sensible addition to their existing involvement in GT3, for instance to support young drivers,” says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “For us as a manufacturer, GT4 competition is a logical next step to extend our Customer Racing Programme. After the achievements in GT3 racing, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is opening another valuable platform for us to prove our competence as a globally successful sports car and performance brand. There is no doubt that we will once again be setting new benchmarks in the segment with the latest member in our Customer Racing Programme.”& amp; amp; amp; lt; /p>

Production-base meets racing technology
The Mercedes-AMG GT4 is based on the Mercedes-AMG GT R that was introduced in June, 2016 and already has a particularly high level of race track performance. The highly dynamic characteristics of the road-legal sports car were developed further in a consequent way. In every area where the production specification could mean a compromise for racing purposes, it is replaced by racing technology for the Mercedes-AMG GT4. The many years of experience from the GT3 segment have clearly been incorporated into the development.

Fully matured and competitive
Like with the introduction of the SLS AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-AMG GT3, aspirations for the new race car are high: the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is entering the scene as a fully matured and proven competition car. It arrives to set new benchmarks in its class relating to safety, ergonomics, driveability, performance as well as service- and user-friendliness.

“Our customers have high expectations when we are presenting a new car. And rightfully so: the SLS AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 were capable of winning from their very first lap of racing onwards and were able to prove it in an impressive way. That also is the benchmark for the new Mercedes-AMG GT4. Therefore, we have taken the time that was necessary for development and testing to be able to offer a perfect product in the end. We aren’t entering a new segment to finish second,” Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing, says.

A comprehensive test and development programme
As Test and Development Drivers, Bernd Schneider, Thomas Jäger and Jan Seyffarth are largely contributing to the maturity of the Mercedes-AMG GT4. Like with the SLS AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-AMG GT3, the co-operation between the experienced drivers and the engineers from Affalterbach is an important element in the complex vehicle development process. The close interaction between the experts results into excellent driveability, a characteristic that is typical for the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing cars.

Prior to the first deliveries, scheduled for the end of 2017, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is to undergo further intense testing. The programme includes a total of over 30,000 kilometres of track testing. The new car has already successfully proven its reliable endurance performance and high durability in a 30-hour endurance test at race speed at the Lausitzring.

To allow for experience from real racing conditions to be integrated into the development, three prototypes will be participating in selected test races during the current 2017 motorsport season. For these outings, the cars will be run in co-operation with development partner HWA AG and, if required, with support from partner teams.

Further development of a proven power unit
The Mercedes-AMG GT4 is powered by the 4.0 litre V8 biturbo engine with direct fuel injection, known from the road cars from Affalterbach. The proven production technology of the front-mid engine allows for particularly long service intervals and also provides sufficient performance reserves for the future. Depending on the balance of performance, this results into an output of up to 375 kW (510 hp) and a maximum torque of over 600 Nm.

Optimised gearshift for competition use
Like in the Mercedes-AMG GT3, the sequential six-speed competition gearbox in the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is linked to the rear axle in transaxle formation and is pneumatically operated. This arrangement results into a favourable weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity. A differential that is adjustable from the outside optimises the driving characteristics for the specific requirements of competition use. In the construction and the integration of the gearbox, the focus of the development was not only on performance, but also on the high service and rebuild friendliness.

Award-winning light-weight construction
To achieve maximum performance at the race track, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 has been weight-optimised in every area. An intelligent mix of aluminium and carbon has been used for the chassis and the bodywork. The structure of the GT4 consists of a very light and extremely rigid aluminium spaceframe that can also be found in the Mercedes-AMG GT R and that has been honoured with the ‘Leichtbau Award 2017’, an innovation award from the German engineers’ association VDI. As a part of the AMG Lightweight Performance Strategy, further measures and optimisations of details contribute to the weight reduction. Thus, racing-specific bodywork parts such as the bonnet, the front apron or the front splitter have been made of a particularly lightweight composite material. In the production version of the GT R, carbon is already used as a material, for instance for the front wings and the torque tube between the engine and the gearbox.

Benchmark-setting safety The Mercedes-AMG GT4 has adopted the proven safety concept of its ‘big GT3 brother’ and is thus setting new benchmarks in its class. The best possible driver protection has the highest priority. Here, the rollcage of high-strength steel, screwed onto the aluminium spaceframe, is playing a central role. The carbon driver safety cell meets the latest FIA homologation standards and features an integrated headrest. Optionally, this is also available for the passenger seat. Because of its design, the safety cell also provides a very high level of protection for a driver’s shoulders, hips and legs. Moreover, it is compatible with the HANS (Head And Neck Support) system. An extrication hatch in the roof and a powerful fire extinguishing system round out the competition-specific safety features.

Optimal ergonomics in the cockpit
Ergonomics and functionality can be found in the interior of the Mercedes‑AMG GT4: all the elements, systems and displays have been designed in such a way that less experienced drivers can also handle them quickly. In the large cockpit, even tall drivers find sufficient space, especially as the steering wheel has a wide adjustment range and the pedals can be adjusted as well. For easy handling and good visibility in the dark, the controls on the steering wheel are illuminated. So are the large switches on the centre console that is orientated towards the driver. The effective circulation of fresh air in the interior is particularly pleasant for the driver. To allow the drivers to keep cool in all racing conditions, air conditioning is available for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 as an option.

User-friendly racing electronics
The electronics of the Mercedes-AMG GT R were revised to meet the requirements of the GT4 race car. A durably high user and service friendliness complements the reliable operation under extreme pressure. Customer Racing Teams that are familiar with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 will particularly benefit as they will find proven menu structures and solutions. The racing engine control unit is the digital heart that guarantees an exact performance. A new torque control allows for excellent measurement and driveability. Further highlights include an optimised version of the AMG TRACTION CONTROL that enables the driver to adjust the slip on the rear axle in eleven levels to suit varying grip conditions.

Exact driving performance
The highly precise driving characteristics rank among the outstanding features of the Mercedes-AMG GT4. The suspension with double wishbones and dampers with adjustable rebound and compression gives a direct and clear feedback to the driver in every situation. Drivers of every level quickly find confidence in the car as a result. Moreover, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 convinces with exact steering response, outstanding agility and excellent traction. A powerful competition brake system with multi-adjustable ABS ensures maximum stopping power. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 is equipped with 18 inch forged AMG light-alloy wheels.

Aerodynamically optimise design
The new Mercedes-AMG GT4 is bringing the characteristic design of its production counterpart to the race track. The unmistakable features include the flat front section with the radiator grille that is tilted to the front. This lay-out lowers the stagnation pressure point on the car to improve both the aerodynamic performance and the flow of the cooling air through the bonnet. All other design elements of the Mercedes-AMG GT4 are focused on the technical benefit and add to the overall performance. The aerodynamics are playing a leading role: building on the innovative aerodynamic concept of the Mercedes-AMG GT R, the race car was further optimised in a comprehensive wind tunnel test to achieve a handling that is as neutral as possible. Like this, it is easier for the teams to find an individual track set-up. To this end, the rear wing of the GT4 car has a very wide adjustment range to select the required combination of low drag and high downforce levels. At the aerodynamically optimised front, a wide splitter reduces the lift on the front axle, to which the flics mounted to the side of the front apron contribute as well. 

The main areas of competition for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 The boom of the GT4 class was initiated in Europe and is reflected in a rapidly increasing number of opportunities for competition, be it with exclusive GT4 formats or as separate vehicle categories within various series or events. Currently, the following series can be considered as the most important ‘hunting grounds’ for the new Mercedes-AMG GT4: the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge and the Pirelli World Challenge in the US, the Blancpain GT Series Asia in Asia and the Australian GT Trophy in Australia. In Germany, the VLN endurance racing championship and the Nürburgring 24-hours are the designated highlights for the new race car from Affalterbach. The GT4 European Series Northern Cup and the GT4 European Series Southern Cup are dedicated international GT4 series. The 24H Endurance Series also provides a large international platform for GT4 competition. Therefore, the new Mercedes-AMG GT4 is eligible to race at a large international platform where it can compete for victories and titles in the hands of the AMG Customer Racing Teams.
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All other Daimler AG discussion / Mercedes-Benz Vans sets new sales records
« Last post by fasteddy on August 01, 2017, 10:11:31 AM »
Stuttgart – Mercedes-Benz Vans has recorded a significant increase in sales in the first half of 2017. With deliveries of 190,200 vehicles in all, the Vans division of Daimler surpassed the previous record set last year by eight percent (previous year 176,200). This means the business unit has now been growing for five years in a row. All model series contributed to the latest sales record and set new highs: Sales of the large Sprinter van increased to about 96,200 units (previous year 95,100, +1%), the mid-size Vito van gained 14 percent to come to 52,500 units (previous year 46,000), the V-Class multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) recorded an increase in sales by 24 percent to about 29,000 units (previous year 23,300), and sales of the small Citan van improved by five percent to 12,500 units (previous year 11,900).

Mercedes-Benz Vans also projects a significant increase in sales for 2017 as a whole. As part of the "Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global“ business unit strategy, the division last year launched the V-Class and the Vito also in China, the world's largest automotive market. This provides additional boosts in demand. In addition, as the world's first premium manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz Vans will enter the segment of mid-size pickups with the X-Class at year's end.
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Stuttgart, Germany - Daimler AG (ticker symbol DAI) continued along its successful growth path in the first half of 2017 and set new records for unit sales and revenue in the second quarter. In the months of April through June, Daimler sold 822,500 cars and commercial vehicles worldwide (+8%), which is another record for unit sales. Contributions to the Group’s best-ever unit sales came from all automotive divisions, in particular the records set by Mercedes-Benz Cars (595,200 vehicles, +9%) and Mercedes-Benz Vans (103,400 vehicles, +4%) and the sales growth at Daimler Trucks (116,400 vehicles, +8%). Group revenue reached the best-ever figure of €41.2 billion and was thus 7% higher than in the second quarter of last year. Adjusted for exchange-rate effects, revenue increased by 5%.

The Daimler Group achieved EBIT of €3,746 million in the second quarter of this year, which is a significant 15% higher than the EBIT of €3,258 million posted in the prior-year quarter. Net profit improved slightly to €2,507 million (Q2 2016: €2,452 million). Net profit attributable to the shareholders of Daimler AG amounted to €2,439 million (Q2 2016: €2,429 million), equivalent to earnings per share of €2.28 (Q2 2016: €2.27).

“We had an excellent second quarter. This strong core business is the best basis to exploit new business models around the CASE topics,” stated Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. CASE stands for the four strategic pillars of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive (Electric), which Daimler is linking up intelligently. “Our strategy is taking effect. We have set ourselves ambitious goals. And we are achieving them – in terms of unit sales and profitability. Step by step, we are optimizing efficiency throughout the Group. The transformation of Daimler is going ahead at full speed. And we have everything we need for it: the resources to invest and the scope to innovate.”

The significant earnings growth at the Mercedes-Benz Cars division in the second quarter of 2017 was aided by the positive development of unit sales of the new E-Class and the SUV models. An additional factor is that special items had a negative impact on earnings in the second quarter of last year. Earnings at the Daimler Trucks division reflect expenses for customer-service measures at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, and despite efficiency gains, did not match the earnings of the prior-year quarter. Mercedes-Benz Vans and Daimler Buses achieved high levels of EBIT but lower than the amounts posted in the prior-year quarter. In the automotive business, the operating return on sales once more achieved its target at 9.2% (Q2 2016: 8.3%). The Daimler Financial Services division’s EBIT slightly surpassed the prior-year figure. Exchange-rate effects had a positive impact on operating profit at all divisions.

“We are successfully utilizing growth opportunities and making systematic use of business potential as well as the opportunities of digitization,” said Bodo Uebber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Finance & Controlling and Daimler Financial Services. “We will therefore invest more and comprehensively in the future, so from today’s perspective, investment in property, plant and equipment and research and development expenditure will be increased significantly this year and in the coming years. We have the financial resources that are required for this growth path.”

Free cash flow and net liquidity

In the first half of 2017, the free cash flow of the industrial business amounted to €3.0 billion (Q1-2 2016: €2.1 billion). This increase resulted primarily from the positive business performance and the development of working capital. A cash inflow of €0.4 billion resulted from the dividend distributed by Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC). The sale of real estate by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation at the Kawasaki site in Japan led to a cash inflow of €0.3 billion. Opposing effects resulted from increased investments in intangible assets and property, plant and equipment and from the acquisition of an interest in LSH Auto International Limited.

Compared with December 31, 2016, the net liquidity of the industrial business decreased from €19.7 billion to €18.4 billion. The dividend payment to shareholders of Daimler AG and exchange-rate effects at the balance-sheet dates led to a decrease in net liquidity that was partially offset by the positive free cash flow.

“On the basis of our financial strength, we undertake refinancing on the international money and capital markets at attractive conditions,” stated Bodo Uebber. “We use those funds for our automotive financial services, to make attractive offers for end-customers, dealerships and fleet managers, thus providing additional support for our growth path.”

In the first half of 2017, Daimler had a cash inflow of €10.7 billion from the issuance of bonds (Q1-2 2016: €12.6 billion). In June, Daimler AG issued a multi-tranche bond in the European capital market with a volume of €4.1 billion and maturities of up to 20 years. Furthermore, in early May, Daimler Finance North America LLC issued bonds with maturities of eighteen months, three years and five years in a total volume of $2.0 billion in the US capital market.

Workforce

At the end of the second quarter of 2017, the Daimler Group had 290,867 employees worldwide (end of 2016: 282,488, end of June 2016: 286,860). Of that total, 174,909 were employed in Germany (end of 2016: 170,034) and 23,705 in the United States (end of 2016: 21,857). Our consolidated companies in China had 3,944 employees at the end of June (end of 2016: 3,696).

Details of the divisions

The second quarter of this year had the strongest quarterly unit sales in the history of Mercedes-Benz Cars. Worldwide, 595,200 automobiles of the Mercedes-Benz and smart brand were sold in the months of April through June (+9%). Record unit sales were posted for example in Europe (+6%), the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden, as well as China including Hong Kong (+28%). Unit sales increased in Germany by 2%, in South Korea by 42% and in Australia by 22%. Second quarter unit sales in the United States were lower than last year (-10%), while unit sales increased in the other NAFTA countries (+8% in Canada and +57% in Mexico).

Revenue increased by 7% to €23.6 billion. In the second quarter of 2017, the division’s EBIT was €2,404 million, which is considerably higher than the prior-year figure of €1,410 million. Its return on sales was 10.2% (Q2 2016: 6.4%). The positive development of earnings in the second quarter of 2017 was influenced by growing unit sales of the new E-Class and the SUVs. Positive exchange-rate effects also had a favorable impact on EBIT. However, there were negative effects on earnings from advance expenditure for new technologies and future products. In the second quarter of the previous year, it was mainly expenses in connection with Takata airbags of €440 million and net expenses from the measurement of inventories of €284 million that had negative effects on earnings.

Unit sales by Daimler Trucks of 116,400 vehicles were higher than in the second quarter of last year (Q2 2016: 108,300). Unit sales of 20,400 vehicles in the EU30 region (European Union, Switzerland and Norway) were at the prior-year level. In Germany, sales remained slightly below the prior-year quarter at 8,100 units (Q2 2016: 8,300). Sales in Turkey decreased to 2,900 units as a result of the generally weak market (Q2 2016: 3,100). In the NAFTA region, unit sales increased slightly to 42,300 vehicles (Q2 2016: 40,600). Unit sales in Latin America were higher than in the prior-year period. While unit sales increased significantly in Argentina, sales of 2,900 units in Brazil were slightly below the low level of the previous year (Q2 2016: 3,000). Unit sales in Asia increased significantly. This was mainly due to significantly increased sales of 9,800 units in Indonesia (Q2 2016: 5,600). In Japan, sales of 10,200 vehicles were below the prior-year level (Q2 2016: 11,000). In India, sales also decreased to 3,600 units (Q2 2016: 3,900). Sales of Auman trucks by the joint venture BFDA in China increased significantly to 28,600 units (Q2 2016: 21,300). Unit sales increased significantly also in the Middle East, where 6,400 vehicles were sold (Q2 2016: 3,900).

Revenue reached €9.0 billion (Q2 2016: €8.7 billion). The division’s EBIT of €543 million is significantly below the prior-year figure (Q2 2016: €621 million). Its return on sales was 6.0% (Q2 2016: 7.2%). Customer service measures at Mercedes-Benz Trucks affected EBIT negatively. Efficiency enhancements increased the division’s EBIT.

Mercedes-Benz Vans increased its unit sales by 4% to the new record of 103,400 vehicles in the second quarter of 2017. In the EU30 region, second-quarter unit sales increased by 1%. The van division achieved strong growth in Austria (+25%), Poland (+16%) and Norway (+12%). In the important German market, Mercedes-Benz Vans once again had a very good second quarter with sales of 27,400 vehicles, which is slightly higher than last year (Q2 2016: 26,800). The development of unit sales was positive also in the NAFTA region, with growth of 3%. Second-quarter unit sales increased also in Latin America (+31%), aided by the significant market recovery in Argentina. In China, Mercedes-Benz Vans further improved its position and posted its best-ever sales in a quarter with an increase of 49%.

Compared with the prior-year period, there was a slight decrease in revenue of 3% to €3.3 billion. The division achieved EBIT of €358 million, which is significantly below the very high prior-year level (Q2 2016: €401 million). Its return on sales decreased to 10.8%, compared to 11.7% in the second quarter of last year. Despite lower warranty costs, earnings did not match the prior-year period, as a result of higher expenses from advance expenditure for new technologies and future products as well as the end of a contract manufacturing arrangement.

Daimler Buses’ second-quarter unit sales increased by 8% to 7,500 units. In the EU30 region, Daimler Buses sold 2,200 complete buses and bus chassis of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands (-2%). In Germany, the domestic market, the bus division maintained its undisputed market leadership and improved its sales by 12%. Due to the currently difficult market situation in Turkey, sales there decreased significantly to 140 units (Q2 2016: 300). Despite the continuation of the difficult market situation in Brazil, the division’s second-quarter sales of 3,400 bus chassis in Latin America (excluding Mexico) were significantly higher than in the previous year (Q2 2016: 3,000). In Mexico, Daimler Buses sold 1,000 units, which is substantially more than in the prior-year period (Q2 2016: 600), while a total of 400 units were sold in Asia (Q2 2016: 500).

Revenue of €1.2 billion was slightly higher than in the second quarter of last year (Q2 2016: €1.1 billion). Daimler Buses’ EBIT of €64 million was significantly lower than the very high earnings in the prior-year period (Q2 2016: €88 million). This resulted in a return on sales of 5.5% (Q2 2016: 7.8%). Further efficiency enhancements did not quite offset the decrease in earnings due to lower unit sales in Turkey and higher inflation-related costs in Latin America.

Daimler Financial Services increased its new business once again in the second quarter of 2017. Worldwide, 477,000 new leasing and financing contracts were concluded with a total volume of €17.9 billion, which is 16% more than in the prior-year period. Contract volume reached €134.2 billion at the end of June and was thus at the level of year-end 2016. Adjusted for exchange-rate effects, contract volume grew by 5%. In the insurance business, Daimler Financial Services brokered 519,000 contracts in the second quarter (+20%). The number of car2go customers increased to 2.6 million worldwide by the end of June. The fleet was expanded with the addition of new vehicle models (including the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive). The number of 13.7 million customers registered with Daimler’ mobility services at the end of June was more than double the number a year earlier.

In the second quarter of 2017, Daimler Financial Services’ earnings of €522 million surpassed the prior-year figure of €479 million. The division’s return on equity was 18.8% (Q2 2016: 19.3%). The positive development of earnings was mainly the result of increased contract volume and an improved cost-of-risk situation. On the other hand, the higher level of interest rates impacted earnings negatively.

The reconciliation of the divisions’ EBIT to Group EBIT comprises gains and/or losses at the corporate level and the effects on earnings of eliminating intra-group transactions between the divisions. Items at the corporate level resulted in expenses of €152 million in the second quarter of 2017 (Q2 2016: income of €237 million). In the prior-year quarter, EBIT was reduced by expenses of €400 million related to legal proceedings. On other hand, the EBIT of the prior-year period was strengthened by the contribution into the pension plan assets of the shares of each of Renault S.A. and Nissan Motor Company Ltd. in an amount of €605 million. The elimination of intra-group transactions resulted in an income of €7 million in the second quarter of 2017 (Q2 2016: €22 million).

Investment in the future

Property, plant and equipment of €26.5 billion were at the prior-year level (December 31, 2016: €26.4 billion). In the first six months of 2017, €2.7 billion was invested worldwide, in particular at our production and assembly sites for new products and technologies and for the expansion and modernization of the production facilities. The sites in Germany accounted for €1.8 billion of capital expenditure (Q1-2 2016: €1.7 billion).

The Daimler Group’s research and development spending in the first half of the year amounted to €4.3 billion (Q1-2 2016: €3.6 billion). This already includes a substantial amount of advance expenditure for the mobility of the future, as well as for new vehicle models, more efficient drive systems, and the intensification of the modular strategy at Mercedes-Benz Cars. Daimler Trucks invested primarily in emission reductions, alternative drive systems and future technologies, as well as in products and technologies especially for the markets in Latin America and China.

Outlook for the markets

The outlook for the world economy continues to be favorable at the beginning of the third quarter of 2017, so global growth could accelerate slightly this year. Current growth forecasts for full-year 2017 are meanwhile for about 3%.

According to recent assessments, worldwide demand for cars is likely to increase from its already high level by 1-2% in 2017. This would be the eighth consecutive year of growth for the world market. Only slight growth is expected for the Chinese car market, however, after tax incentives for cars with small engines were reduced this year. Although the US market for cars and light trucks remains at a high level, it will probably be slightly smaller than last year’s volume. Slight growth is anticipated for the European car market. Following the strong revival of demand of recent years, the market in Western Europe should grow again slightly compared with 2016. In Russia, a significant recovery from a low level can be assumed. Daimler anticipates slight growth in demand in the Japanese market and significant growth in India.

Following the cyclical downturn of the previous year for the truck market in the NAFTA region, demand can be expected to recover gradually as the year progresses. In full-year 2017, sales in classes 6-8 are likely to be slightly lower than in 2016, however. A rather weaker development is anticipated in the segment of heavy-duty trucks (class 8).

In the EU30 region, Daimler expects demand to stay at about the solid prior-year level. In the Brazilian market, it is to be assumed that truck sales will once again slightly decrease from last year’s extremely weak level. Following last year’s dramatic slump in demand in Turkey, another significant decline is to be expected in 2017. The Russian market should recover significantly. The most important Asian markets from Daimler’s perspective are likely to develop disparately in 2017. In Japan, demand for light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks is likely to see a stable development at a solid level. The overall Indonesian truck market should be significantly above its level of 2016, following several years of significant contraction. In India, the reform of the country’s goods and services tax that was implemented in the middle of the year should stimulate the market somewhat in the second half of 2017; a slight increase in market volume is anticipated in the full year. In China, a normalization of demand is anticipated during the rest of this year, but the market is likely to expand significantly in the full year compared with 2016.

For the year 2017, in the EU30 region, slight market growth in the segment of mid-size and large vans as well as for small vans is expected. In the United States, demand for large vans should remain fairly stable. The market for large vans in Latin America should revive again significantly in 2017, but from a very low level. In China, Daimler now anticipates stable demand in the market it addresses there.

The bus market in the EU30 region is expected to grow slightly compared with 2016. Market developments in Latin America continue to be affected by the currently difficult economic situation, especially in Brazil. Following the significant declines of recent years, Daimler assumes that demand bottomed out in the year 2016. So a significant recovery is anticipated in 2017, especially in Brazil, although the market volume will remain very low.

Outlook for the divisions

On the basis of the assumptions presented above on the development of the markets important for the Group and of the division’s current assessments, Daimler expects to significantly increase its total unit sales in the year 2017.

In the second quarter of 2017, Mercedes-Benz Cars continued along its successful path of the previous quarters and achieved the highest half-year unit sales in the company’s history. In full-year 2017, the division plans to significantly increase its unit sales once again. This will be primarily driven by the new E-Class family, which will be completed in September with the market launch of the E-Class Cabriolet. In addition, the comprehensively modernized and further developed S-Class sedan is available as of July. The market launch of the GLC 63 4MATIC+ und GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ as SUV and coupe will start in September, in time for the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG, the Affalterbach-based sports-car and performance brand. Further sales impetus is anticipated from the new fully electric smart models. Fourth-generation electric driving can be enjoyed not only in the smart fortwo coupe and smart forfour, but also with the roof down in the smart fortwo cabrio. This makes smart the first manufacturer to offer a fully electric convertible.

Daimler Trucks now assumes that its total unit sales in 2017 will be slightly higher than in the previous year. In the NAFTA region, the truck division expects to further consolidate its strong market position and to sell slightly more trucks than in 2016. This will be aided by the new Freightliner Cascadia, the flagship in the North American market. In the EU30 region, Daimler Trucks anticipates unit sales in the magnitude of last year. In Japan, where the latest generation of the FUSO Super Great heavy-duty truck was presented in the second quarter, unit sales are expected to be similar to the prior-year level. Unit sales in Brazil are likely to be at about the very low level of 2016. In Indonesia and India, unit sales should be higher than in the previous year.

Mercedes-Benz Vans plans to achieve significant growth in unit sales in 2017. The van division anticipates significant increases in sales of vans also in the EU30 region. In the context of the »Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global« strategy for the division, the V-Class multipurpose vehicle and the Vito van were launched in 2016 also in China, the world’s biggest market for motor vehicles. This will additionally boost demand there. And towards the end of this year, Mercedes-Benz Vans will enter the midsize-pickup segment with the X-Class, thus further increasing its worldwide unit sales in the long term.

Daimler Buses assumes that it will be able to defend its market leadership in its traditional core markets for buses above 8 tons with innovative, future-oriented and high-quality products. For the year 2017, the bus division expects significant growth in unit sales with a moderate increase in the EU30 region. After the substantial decrease in unit sales in Brazil last year, Daimler Buses expects a significant recovery in 2017, but still at a very low level. In Mexico, a significant decrease in unit sales is anticipated.

Daimler Financial Services anticipates significant growth in new business and further growth in contract volume in the year 2017. This will continue to be driven by the good sales developments of the automotive divisions, especially Mercedes-Benz Cars. An additional factor is that new market potential is being utilizing especially in Asia, and new and digital possibilities for customer contacts are being applied – in particular through the systematic further developing of online sales channels. The division continues to see good growth opportunities worldwide also in the field of innovative mobility services.

Outlook for Daimler

Daimler assumes that Group revenue will increase significantly in the year 2017. On the basis of the significant growth in unit sales, the Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Buses, and Daimler Financial Services divisions assume that their revenues will be significantly higher than in 2016. Mercedes-Benz Vans anticipates slight revenue growth and the Daimler Trucks division now also expects its revenue to be slightly higher than in the previous year. In regional terms, the strongest growth is expected in Asia and Europe.

On the basis of expected market developments and the current assessments of the divisions, Daimler assumes that Group EBIT will increase significantly once again in 2017.

The individual divisions have the following expectations for EBIT for the year 2017:

– Mercedes-Benz Cars: significantly above the prior-year level,
– Daimler Trucks: around the prior-year level,
– Mercedes-Benz Vans: around the prior-year level,
– Daimler Buses: slightly above the prior-year level, and
– Daimler Financial Services: slightly above the prior-year level.

The anticipated development of earnings in the automotive divisions will have a positive impact on the free cash flow of the industrial business also in the year 2017. Despite a further increase in advance expenditure for new products and technologies, the free cash flow from the industrial business should be slightly above the level of 2016, and thus higher than the dividend distribution in 2017.

In order to achieve its ambitious growth targets, Daimler will once again significantly increase its already very high investment in property, plant and equipment in the year 2017 (2016: €5.9 billion). Capital expenditure in 2017 at both Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler Trucks will primarily be for successor generations for existing products, new products, global component projects and the optimization of the worldwide production network.

With its research and development activities, Daimler anticipates a total volume significantly above last year’s spending of €7.6 billion. Key projects at Mercedes-Benz Cars include successor models for the current S-Class and C-Class. In addition, the Group is investing in more efficient engines, alternative and conventional drive systems, autonomous driving and connectivity. At Daimler Trucks, the main areas of investment continue to be for improved fuel efficiency, alternative drive systems and future technologies, as well as the development of tailored products and technologies, especially for Latin America and China.

Against the backdrop of further efficiency enhancements in the context of the medium- and long-term programs for the structural improvement of business processes, Daimler assumes that its ambitious growth targets can be achieved with only a slight increase in the size of the workforce.

Important events

On June 1, 2017, in the presence of the German Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel, and the Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, Daimler AG and its Chinese partner, BAIC Group, signed a framework agreement on the further deepening of their strategic cooperation by means of investment for vehicles with alternative drive systems in China. The investment agreement includes the planned acquisition of a minority interest in Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. (BJEV), a subsidiary of the BAIC Group, with the goal of strengthening strategic cooperation with BAIC in the field of vehicles with alternative drive systems. China is now the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles.

On July 5, 2017, also in the presence of the German Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel, and the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, Daimler and the BAIC Group announced a framework agreement on the further deepening of cooperation in the German-Chinese production joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC). The two companies agreed on a joint investment of approximately RMB 5 billion (equivalent to €655 million) in the production of battery-electric vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz brand at the local production facility of BBAC in Beijing. As part of this strategic framework agreement, until 2020, Daimler and BAIC Motor will prepare for the local production of battery-electric vehicles as well as the establishment of battery production and will provide the required research and development capacities.

Daimler is investing a total of approximately €1 billion in a global battery production network. This includes a second battery factory with an investment of approximately €500 million at the subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE in Kamenz in the German federal state of Saxony. In mid-May, the foundation stone was laid there for one of the world’s largest and most modern battery factories. After Kamenz and Beijing, another battery production facility will be established at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Untertürkheim, Stuttgart.

With planned investment of more than €250 million, Mercedes-Benz laid in June the foundation stone for a new car plant in Russia. It is to be located in the Moscow region and to start local production in 2019, at first with the new E-Class sedan, then to be followed by SUV models. In this way, Daimler is strengthening its industrial involvement in Russia, which has so far focused on truck production. More than 1,000 jobs are to be created in the Moscow region.

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class will be launched in July with numerous innovations. The highlights include an all-new, highly efficient range of engines with an array of new technologies for the electrification of the drive train. With the S-Class, the undisputed peak of the premium segment, intelligent drive is taking a further step towards autonomous driving. The Mercedes-Benz flagship maintained its position as the world’s bestselling luxury sedan once again in 2016. Well over 300,000 units of this model have been sold since 2013.

In mid-July, the Daimler Board of Management approved a comprehensive plan for the future of diesel engines. This initiative includes the extension of the ongoing voluntary customer service activities on vehicles in customers’ hands, as well as the rapid market launch of a completely new family of diesel engines. Daimler anticipates related expenses of approximately €0.2 billion in the third quarter of 2017.

In June, Daimler and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) for the first time together applied blockchain technology for financial transactions. In parallel to the process required by the regulatory authorities, the automobile manufacturer and the financial institute have thus successfully tested the innovative technology for capital-market processes. Through LBBW, Daimler placed a promissory-note loan with a volume of €100 million and a maturity of one year with the banks Kreissparkasse Esslingen-Nürtingen, Kreissparkasse Ludwigsburg and Kreissparkasse Ostalb, as well as with LBBW itself. The entire transaction was carried out completely digitally on a blockchain with the IT subsidiaries TSS (Daimler) and Targens (LBBW) – from initiation to placement, assignment and contractual closing, as well as payment of interest and confirmation of repayment.

Daimler AG and Lei Shing Hong Ltd. are further deepening their longstanding and successful cooperation with an investment by Daimler in LSH Auto International Limited. In May, Daimler acquired a minority interest of 15% in the company, which is responsible for the Mercedes-Benz retail business of the Lei Shing Hong Group. The transaction was closed after receiving the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities.

Together with T-Systems and DKV EURO SERVICE, Daimler established the joint venture Toll4Europe in April. Toll4Europe plans to start operations at first in Belgium and Germany in 2018, to be followed soon after by France, Austria and other countries. The goal is to offer a one-stop shop so that truck tolls charged in different countries of Europe can be paid with one onboard unit and one invoice.
10
Motorsports / Mercedes-Benz commits to Formula E, departs DTM
« Last post by fasteddy on July 26, 2017, 11:18:04 AM »
Mercedes‑Benz has announced a strategic repositioning of its motorsport activities: the company will conclude its participation in DTM at the end of 2018 and enter Formula E in the 2019/20 season.

This new approach will see Mercedes-Benz competing at both ends of the motorsport spectrum: in Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport combining high technology and the most demanding competitive challenge; and in Formula E, which embodies the transformation that is underway in the automotive industry.

We want to win as many titles as possible before we go

Since the “new” DTM was founded in 2000, we have so far enjoyed 18 continuous seasons of great racing, spectacular battles and close-matched competition. We were lucky enough to celebrate championship success and learned how to handle defeat. And we loved every second of it.

“Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes,” commented Toto Wolff. “I want to thank every team member whose fantastic work has helped to make Mercedes-Benz the most successful DTM manufacturer during that time. Although leaving is tough for all of us, we will be doing everything during this season and next to make sure we win as many DTM titles as possible before we go. We owe that to our fans and to ourselves.”

Since the DTM was founded in 1988, there have been 26 racing seasons during which Mercedes-Benz has won 10 drivers’, 13 team and six manufacturer titles (DTM + ITC combined). With our fans, we have celebrated 183 race wins, 128 pole positions and 540 podium finishes.

„Our departure from the DTM brings a long-standing motorsport era to a close. We look back with pride on the commitment of our teams, drivers, partners and the many people behind the scenes, who so often made the series a fascinating platform for our customers and for fans of our brand,” concluded Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars Dr Jens Thiemer. “It is now time to start on a new path.”

Formula E is like an exciting start-up venture

Electric mobility is already of strategic importance to the company today and this will only increase in the future. Formula E offers a perfect platform on which to demonstrate the competitiveness of our technology brand EQ in a racing environment, in the area of battery electric powertrains.

„Mercedes-Benz will market future battery powered electric vehicles using the EQ label,” explained Dr Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz. “Formula E is a significant step in order to demonstrate the performance of our attractive battery powered electric vehicles, as well as giving an emotional spin to our EQ technology brand through motorsport and marketing.”

Toto Wolff views Formula E as a brand new form of racing that reflects a rapidly changing automotive landscape.

“In motorsport like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and to explore innovative new projects. The combination of Formula 1 and Formula E delivers that. Formula E is like an exciting start-up venture: it offers a brand new format, combining racing with a strong event character, in order to promote current and future technologies. Electrification is happening in the road car world and Formula E offers manufacturers an interesting platform to bring this technology to a new audience – and to do so with a completely new kind of racing, different to any other series. I am pleased that we were able to extend our entry option for one year to the 2019/20 season. This gives us time to properly understand the series and to prepare for our entry in the right way.”

“Today is a great day as we welcome Mercedes to the Formula E family - adding to the increasing number of manufacturers joining the electric revolution,” said Formula E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. “This step shows how much the world is changing, not only in motorsport, but the whole automotive industry. We’re witnessing a transformation that will first change our cities, and then our roads. Formula E is the championship that embodies that change, and together with all our teams and manufacturers we’ll keep pushing for technologies to have better and more affordable electric cars.”< /p>
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