We assume that the Daimler Group’s revenue will grow significantly in 2015.
Without exception, our divisions currently benefit from a very attractive and particularly competitive product range, which has been expanded and consistently renewed in recent years. We therefore assume that Daimler will profit to an above-average extent from the slight revival of automotive markets that we expect for 2015, and will be able to strengthen its position in important markets. At Mercedes-Benz Cars, additional growth in 2015 will be driven above all by the new C-Class, the extremely successful S-Class models, the new GLA and CLA Shooting Brake compact models and the new smart models fortwo and forfour. The other automotive divisions are extremely well positioned with their products, and Daimler Financial Services’ new business will profit from the growth in unit sales of passengers cars and commercial vehicles. The revenue growth we anticipate is therefore likely to be supported by all divisions. In absolute terms, Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler Trucks will deliver the biggest contributions. In regional terms, we expect the highest growth rates in Asia and North America, but our business volumes should expand also in the other regions. In particular in China, we are creating the right conditions for further growth with new sales outlets and additional production capacities, and we are expanding our production plants also in India and North America.
The growth in unit sales and revenue that we anticipate will have a positive impact on earnings in 2015. Additional profit contributions will come from the efficiency programs that we have implemented in all divisions.
With the programs “Fit for Leadership” at Mercedes-Benz Cars, “Daimler Trucks #1” at Daimler Trucks, “Performance Vans” at Mercedes-Benz Vans and “GLOBE 2013” at Daimler Buses, we achieved total profit contributions of approximately €4 billion by the end of 2014, by taking measures for sustained improvements in cost structures as well as through additional business activities. The full effect of these programs will be reflected in 2015. In addition to these measures for improved cost structures with short-term effects, we are taking measures in all divisions for the long-term structural optimization of our business system. We are increasingly standardizing and modularizing our production processes throughout the Group, for example with the intelligent use of vehicle platforms to achieve further cost advantages. These structural measures will have a positive impact on earnings already in 2015.
There will be opposing effects, however, from the ongoing high expenditure for our model offensive, for innovative technologies and for the expansion and modernization of our worldwide production facilities.
The expansion of our international sales activities and the restructuring of our sales-and-service centers in Germany are also connected with substantial expenditure in 2015.
With regard to exchange rates, the US dollar is likely to strengthen, which will be generally positive for us, but the ongoing weakness of the Japanese yen and of the currencies of major emerging economies will probably continue to have a negative impact on our earnings.
On the basis of the anticipated market development, the aforementioned factors and the planning of our divisions, we assume that Group EBIT from the ongoing business will increase significantly once again in 2015.
For the individual divisions, we have set ourselves the following targets for EBIT from the ongoing business in the year 2015:
- Mercedes-Benz Cars: significantly above the prior-year level,
- Daimler Trucks: significantly above the prior-year level,
- Mercedes-Benz Vans: significantly above the prior-year level,
- Daimler Buses: slightly below the prior-year level, and
- Daimler Financial Services: slightly above the prior-year level.