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Image: Daimler AG

Daimler AG is restructuring its business divisions in a strategy which will see the reassignment of over 700 subsidiaries in over 60 countries. This is described as a move making the Daimler Group “fit for the future” and, according to supervisory board chairman Manfred Bischoff, positions it “to tackle the rapid pace of change in the mobility sector and the corresponding strategic challenges.”

Project Future sets up three legally independent entities – Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG and Daimler Mobility AG (formerly Daimler Financial Services AG) – under the Daimler AG ‘umbrella’. Daimler claims it will give these divisions “greater entrepreneurial freedom” and empower them “to enter partnerships more easily and quickly”, and it will continue to invest in technological transformation and digitization across the family of companies.

Shareholders will vote on this structure at the Annual General Meeting in May 2019, with the restructuring expected to be implemented by January 1, 2020.

Daimler deepens strategic cooperation with Baidu

Indicating this future strategy of outside partnerships, Daimler has also announced this week that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese tech firm Baidu to strengthen their ongoing tie-ups on automated driving and vehicle connectivity. Joint projects will include further collaboration on Baidu’s Apollo open platform, and exploring new fields in vehicle connectivity services.

This partnership is with the Chinese market and specific local demands and conditions in mind. However, as Baidu chairman and CEO Robin Li pointed out in a statement: “In the era of artificial intelligence and big data, the automotive industry will evolve according to a drastically different logic – from vertical integration to a platform-based ecosystem – making now the optimal time for global automakers and tech companies to work together and deepen cooperation in building an intelligent ecosystem.”

-Farah Alkhalisi