Daimler: a venerable giant and a modern automotive tech-innovator

Pictured: an example of Daimler / Mercedes-Benz electric truck "Actros"

Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, but operating globally, automaker Daimler took the number 19 spot in this year’s FreightTech 100.

“We appreciate the recognition by FreightWaves and the efforts of the jurors who participated. We look forward to mutual success in the decades to come,” a company spokesperson told FreightWaves.

Owner of some of the world’s most well-known and historical automotive brands, such as Mercedes-Benz, the company manufactures cars, trucks and buses. In 2018, Daimler delivered more than one-half million trucks and buses to its customers around the world.

Standard-setter Daimler

Perhaps less well known is that Daimler is also a major provider of financing, leasing and investment products among many other services.

While Daimler can trace its roots back over 120 years, it demonstrably has not stood still.

“We pioneered the modern transportation industry with our trucks and buses more than 120 years ago. Over the past 12 decades, we have set technological standards for our industry many times – in safety, fuel efficiency, reliability and driver comfort. As we have since the invention of trucks and buses, we combine our deep technological expertise with our understanding of customer needs to constantly deliver new, purposeful technologies for them. We build to solve for our customers because they keep the world moving,” a company spokesperson told FreightWaves.

Innovative Daimler

And the German auto-maker must have wowed the expert panel of independent judges who ranked it as the 19th most disruptive freight-related company in the world. FreightWaves discussed the company’s approach to innovation and disruption.

“Our current technological leadership and customer focus is exemplified in several ways. First, the SAE Level 2 driver assist systems we have brought to market around the world aid safety as well as driver comfort and benefit both drivers and society as a whole,” the company spokesperson said.

“SAE” is the shortened form of “Society of Automotive Engineers” which has created a six-level guide to the levels of vehicular automation which shows who is driving whether that’s the vehicle or the human driver.

“Second, our work in advancing battery electric commercial vehicle technology now has vehicles currently in customer testing on three continents and across multiple segments on the path to achieving CO₂ neutrality by 2039 for new vehicles in the markets of Europe, Japan and NAFTA. Lastly, the vehicle connectivity tools we have introduced, combined with the intelligent use of health monitoring data is helping our customers achieve maximum uptime,” a company spokesperson told FreightWaves.

A giant among giants

Daimler is a giant of a company among giant companies. In 2018, Daimler generated worldwide revenues of 38.27 billion Euro (roughly $43.8 billion based on the exchange rate at the end of December last year).

It made earnings before interest of 2.75 billion Euro ($3.15 billion). It employed 82,953 people, of whom 16,647 were employed in the United States and it sold 517,000 vehicles of various kinds around the world. In the United States it sold 161,000 units. And, in fact, the United States is the number one market for the Daimler Trucks subdivision of the company.

The FreightTech 25: the best of the best

FreightWaves announced the full list of 2020 FreightTech 25 winners during FreightWaves LIVE Chicago on Wednesday, Nov. 13. The FreightTech 25, chosen from the FreightTech 100, highlights the most innovative and disruptive companies across the freight industry, featuring both cutting-edge upstarts and top-notch traditional powers.

Companies named in the FreightTech 100 were judged by an external panel of industry experts, with voting conducted and overseen by accounting firm Katz, Sapper & Miller (KSM). Each member of the panel ranked their top 25 companies on a 1 to 25 point basis. The companies generating the most points comprise the FreightTech 25.

Pictured: a range of vehicles and brands produced by automotive manufacturer Daimler.
Pictured: a range of vehicles and brands produced by automotive manufacturer Daimler.
Photo: supplied by Daimler