The Vice President of Finance and Controlling at Mercedes-Benz Cars, Frank Lindenberg, was recently quoted at one of Daimler’s investor meetings as saying that electric vehicles may be only half as profitable as diesel or petrol/gas-powered cars at first.
“In the beginning of the cycle we believe that we will have to face a significantly lower margin. For some vehicles half of the margin of the vehicles they replace,” he stated.
As such, the exec argued that if a rapid shift to electric vehicles was made, it could prevent the company “from meeting its return on sales target.”
“We are still aiming for a 10% return on sales, but have to be prepared for a kind of transition, with a corridor of 8% to 10%,” he stated.
Reuters continues: “Daimler said that by 2025, the purchasing cost of electric cars would likely reach parity with combustion equivalents, which could accelerate migration to battery powered vehicles. Electric cars are currently more expensive than combustion-engined cars because of battery costs. … One way for Daimler to lower costs would be to purchase a larger proportion of electric components from suppliers rather than making substantial parts of the car in-house, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said.”
In related news, the CEO of Daimler, Dieter Zetsche, was also recently quoted as saying that the transition away from internal combustion engines vehicles (diesel, petrol/gas, etc.) and to electric vehicles (EV) shouldn’t be “forced” through the use of EV quotas.
I wonder why he would say that? Ordinary people in Germany have got to be getting a bit tired at this point of this sort of crap from auto industry execs, don’t you think?
Here’s the quote (via Reuters): “We want to reach the maximum speed ourselves, we don’t need quotas for that.” If they don’t need quotas, what’s the problem with quotas? If they will lose profits and have to adjust those forecasts downward with a quick transition, do they really want to reach maximum speed?
Interestingly, Zetsche also was quoted as saying that Mercedes-Benz had actually sold more diesel cars over the last year then during the previous one, despite public discussions about possible diesel car bans in some cities.
As I haven’t heard audio of the quotes in question, I can’t say for sure what the context was, but that observation does seem a bit strange, doesn’t it? It almost sounds like an “adult” version of “Na na na, you can’t get me!”
For more on the core topics at the top — that a quick transition to electric cars is a great threat to conventional automakers’ finances — also see:
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