Daimler Plans New Management Strategy in Light of Google and Apple Threat

Dieter Zetsche 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
The car industry today is very much different from what was going on two decades ago. Develop a time machine and pull someone involved with making cars from the ‘60s into our present, and they’ll feel completely lost.
The days when the engine power and reliability were paramount are slowly fading away, with technology and gadgets making their way forward as the main argument for buying a car. Face it, you might have been guilty of this yourself, dishing one brand for another just because the latter had a more up-to-date infotainment system.

The level of technology present in a car is a barometer of how modern that specific model is, and it’s not something we can argue against. We do want our smartphones to be able to interact with a car we’re buying in 2015, and the latest models very clearly reflect this tendency.

Not to mention the latest concepts. If you followed our coverage of the recently closed Tokyo Motor Show, you might have seen concepts such as the Nissan Teatro for Dayz, which was basically a big smartphone on wheels. And that’s not an isolated case, it is - as we’ve said before - a tendency.

This direction is also signaled by the intention of the two main players in the digital world - Apple and Google - to get more involved in the automotive industry. And it’s not the kind of software development involvement that would give the established brands nothing to worry about - no, they’re planning on building their own cars.

With this is mind, it’s clear that the big car companies need to react if they don’t want to find themselves in the near future caught in a market they no longer understand. The first to plan concrete measures in this direction was Daimler, owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand.

In a letter to employees signed by company CEO Dieter Zetsche and other management board members, it was announced that a new program called “Leadership 2020” was being launched. This project sees 150 executives dispatched worldwide to work solely on ways to develop management policies to cope better with the changing business environment. "We will re-evaluate, and if necessary, redefine the way we lead our employees, our business and ourselves," read the letter obtained by Bloomberg.

Mercedes-Benz is currently on the rise and is expected to end this year in front of rival Audi in terms of sales, making it to the runner-up position and within striking distance of BMW. This new preoccupation only comes to show the company’s determination to become the number one premium manufacturer, a goal it aims to reach by 2020.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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