German carmaker Daimler has announced it is taking steps to prepare for a new era of electric cars with what will be the largest overhaul in its corporate structure for more than a decade.
As part of the restructure, the company will create three legally independent entities, effectively separating its Mercedes Benz cars and vans business from the Daimler trucks and buses division. According to the Financial Times, the restructure will cost the company €100m ($117.6m).
In the last few years, the acceleration in the electric car market has forced traditional carmakers to adjust their business models
“This project intends to strengthen the future viability of the business units and better utilise the potential for growth and earnings in the various markets,” the company said in a statement.
However, the move is still subject to approval from Daimler’s board of management, board of supervisors and shareholders, with a final decision expected in 2019. For the time being, Daimler is designing a road map to help the business keep pace in a fast changing market.
Bodo Uebber, a member of the Daimler board responsible for finance and controlling, said: “We want to secure Daimler’s future from a position of strength. For that reason, we not only need to be as close as possible to our customers’ pulse, but also to be able to react as quickly and flexibl[y] as possible to market developments and a fundamentally changing competitive environment.”
In the last few years, the acceleration in the electric car market – spurred by new players like Tesla – has forced traditional carmakers to adjust their business models. In September, Daimler revealed plans to disburse $1bn to the production of electric cars in the US, building on its presence in Europe and China.