Daimler Financial Services becomes Daimler Mobility
Following the growing success of its moovel and car2go mobility services and its mobility joint venture with BMW, Daimler Financial Services (Daimler FS) will be rebranded Daimler Mobility later this year, it was announced as the company published its annual report.
The financial division of Daimler AG had a successful 2018: about half of all new-vehicle sales by the manufacturing group were supported by sales financing by Daimler FS.
The company saw the worth of its new financing and leasing contracts increase from €70.7 billion in 2017 to €71.9 billion last year. At the end of 2018, Daimler FS had more than 5.2 million financed or leased vehicles on its books, a 10% growth in contract volume to €154.1 billion.
However, earnings were down 30% to €1.38 billion, due mainly to a settlement in the Toll Collect case, a 14-year-old dispute with the German government regarding delays in rolling out a tolling system for trucks on German motorways jointly developed with Deutsche Telekom.
Fortunately for Daimler FS, there was also plenty of positive news, notably from its continuously expanding range of mobility services:
- User numbers for carsharing service car2go increased from 3.0 million in 2017 to 3.6 million.
- Moovel, an app for multimodal transport, was also developed further. In the U.S., it’s a leading provider of mobile ticketing solutions for transportation companies. Moovel offers 19 services in 15 U.S. cities. The number of moovel users has rocketed from 3.7 million in 2017 to 6.2 million last year.
- Daimler FS’s ride-hailing operation, which runs mytaxi, acquired Chauffeur Privé (since rebranded Kapten), strengthening its leadership in the provision of taxi apps in Europe. The number of users (in Europe and South America) nearly doubled, from 11.1 million in 2018 to 21.3 million last year.
In all, Daimler FS’s mobility services last year gathered around 31 million registered users. A joint venture with BMW will enhance its strong market position by offering a better, broader range of mobility services. “Our common goal is to create a market champion for urban mobility,” says Bodo Uebber (pictured), Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Finance & Controlling and Daimler FS.
Following approval by competition authorities, the transaction establishing a 50/50 joint venture by Daimler and BMW Group for their mobility services was completed on 31 January. Next steps will be presented in Q1 2019. The new company, to be headquartered in Berlin, will bring together five services:
- An on-demand mobility and multimodal mobility platform
- EV charging
The new name for Daimler FS is part of a wider restructuring at Daimler. First announced in October 2017, Daimler’s ‘Project Future’ is to be approved at the group’s annual shareholders’ meeting on May 22. The project entails:
- The merger of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans into Mercedes-Benz AG, and of Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses into Daimler Truck AG (which has already announced a €500-million investment in autonomous trucks). Both will become legally independent entities.
- By July 2019, Daimler FS, already legally independent, will become Daimler Mobility AG.
In 2019, Daimler FS eyes further growth in contract volume and new business, among others through more flexible leasing and rental products. Online sales channels will also be expanded. Daimler FS expects slight revenue growth in 2019. The merger of the mobility services of Daimler FS and BMW Group is also expected to have a positive impact on assets and earnings.