New Daimler boss sets out green ambitions with warning

New Daimler boss Ola Källenius looks a different prospect to his flamboyant predecessor. But this may be no bad thing for the world’s oldest automaker.

According to Automotive News, he dropped an internal message to all Daimler employees on his first official day in the job. .

“With Ambition 2039 we want to make our business more sustainable and simultaneously ensure that it still remains a profitable one,” he said. “We need to change. You know that won’t be easy.” he said.

Ambition 2039 is the company’s programme to make every second Mercedes-Benz sold by 2030 either a plug-in hybrid or full-electric vehicle, with a 100% carbon neutral line up nine years later.

I was hoping for an S-Class but thanks anyway.

In an industry first, senior management will have compensation linked to the achievement of these CO2 goals.

Daimler is also putting pressure on its suppliers who will also be required to meet CO2 targets from now on.

Ola Källenius, a Swedish national, takes over Daimler in a stronger market position that did his predecessor, Dieter Zetsche, in 2006.

Then, the company was struggling with reliability and build quality issues which damaged the brand. The acquisition of Chrysler had weakened the business.

But Källenius faces perhaps a greater challenge: successfully steering Mercedes Cars and Trucks through the transformation to carbon neutral vehicles while maintaining market share.

He will also have to ensure that the round of cost-cutting needed to achieve the changes does not impact on the Daimler’s brands core strengths.

A cool head will be needed to get through this, and in his first days in the job, the Swede now at the top of Daimler AG does seem to have that.

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