Daimler’s dividend cut shows German carmakers have reached crisis mode – media
Due to a severe drop in profits, German luxury carmaker Daimler has cut the dividend paid to its shareholders for the first time in nine years, a sign that the infamous dieselgate scandal, tighter emissions control mechanisms and the shift to electric vehicles finally take their toll on the country’s mighty automotive industry, Veronika Czisi writes for the Tagesspiegel. Shareholders of Daimler, VW and BMW, as well as of important industry suppliers, constantly had to brace for bad news in 2018, but “a profitable business is a precondition for investing in new technologies and products,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said during his last presentation of the annual report as company head. Zetsche’s successor, Swedish manager Ola Källenius, will face a difficult task in making the company fit for the future of the automotive industry, Czisi writes.
Daimler is one of Germany’s most successful companies but has been criticsed for being too slow to adopt e-mobility in earnest. A “dramatic” shift towards carbon-neutral alternatives had been announced in 2016, when Zetsche said that “Daimler will radically develop into a different company within the next ten years.”