Daimler to spin off trucks in shift to electric, self-driving vehicles

A Daimler sign name is pictured during the company's annual news conference in Stuttgart, Germany

(Reuters) - German carmaker Daimler plans to spin-off Daimler Truck, the world's largest truck and bus maker, to allow it to focus on zero-emission vehicles and self-driving technologies.

A final decision on the separation will be taken at an extraordinary shareholders meeting that could be held at the end of the third quarter and the business could be listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange by the end of 2021, Daimler said.

"We have confidence in the financial and operational strength of our two vehicle divisions," Daimler Chief Executive Ola Kallenius said in a statement on Wednesday.

Daimler Truck delivered around half a million trucks and buses to customers in 2019 and generated 40.2 billion euros in revenue from trucks and 4.7 billion euros from buses.

"We are convinced that independent management and governance will allow them to operate even faster... and thus be significantly more agile and competitive," Kallenius added.

As traditional rivals like Sweden's AB Volvo, Volkswagen AG unit Traton and Paccar Inc, Daimler has been racing to bring to market fully-electric heavy-duty trucks to compete against Tesla Inc's long-awaited Semi truck model.

Truckmakers and suppliers are also working fast to roll out self-driving technology.

Trucks on long-distance routes usually follow predictable routes on highways, so are seen as a swifter way to roll out self-driving systems than robotaxis that would have to navigate city streets and pedestrians.

Under the planned spin-off, a significant majority stake in Daimler Truck would be distributed to Daimler shareholders.


(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Kirsti Knolle and Alexander Smith)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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