Daimler AG is one of the most successful multinational automotive companies worldwide. The original partnership of Daimler-Benz was formed in 1924 and is today located in Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. As of 2019, the company is ranked by total unit sales as the 10th largest auto manufacturer in the world and earned the top spot as the largest truck manufacturer. Bus manufacturing operations form an important division of Daimler, providing substantial revenue for the company. Daimler has a separate financial division that provides financing, leasing, and fleet services.

Daimler AG and Key Suppliers

Daimler AG owns outright or has financial interests in several auto, truck, bus, and motorcycle divisions outside of its own principal brand, Mercedes-Benz. Among these other brands are Freightliner, Smart Automobile, Thomas Built Buses, Western Star, Setra, Mitsubishi Fuso, MV Agusta, Denza, Beijing Automotive Group, and Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Key Takeaways

  • Daimler AG is a German automaker and well known for its Mercedes-Benz brand.
  • The company also makes trucks, motorcycles, and buses.
  • Daimler has been focusing sales efforts on emerging economies like India, Russia, China, and Brazil.
  • Key suppliers to Daimler AG include Thyssenkrupp, Eagle Ottawa, Inteva Products, Carcoustics, and Nema.
  • Recent efforts are focused on driving the company into the future with investments in new technology such as wireless vehicle charging.

Like other auto manufacturers, Daimler has focused some of its efforts at sales in emerging market economies, particularly the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). The company has had significant success in establishing its Daimler Trucks division, the largest manufacturer of trucks over six metric tons gross weight in India, Turkey, and Indonesia.

Part of Daimler AG's bus manufacturing Freightliner division, Thomas Built Buses, a 1998 Daimler acquisition in the United States, is one of the largest manufacturers of school buses in the world. Daimler briefly held a substantial interest in Tesla but sold its stake in the company in 2014.

Daimler and its Mercedes-Benz division have a network of over 100 suppliers. Some of their principal suppliers include Thyssenkrupp, Eagle Ottawa, Inteva Products, Carcoustics, Nemak, Johnson Electric, and ZF Lenksysteme. Following are some of the primary suppliers of auto parts, along with the parts that each supplies to Daimler and specifically to its primary brand, Mercedes-Benz:

• ThyssenKrupp: shock absorbers and suspension components;
• Eagle Ottawa: leather seat interiors;
• Inteva Products: sunroofs;
• Carcoustics: hood and dash sound insulation components;
• Nemak: cylinder heads;
• Johnson Electric: HVAC actuators;
• ZF Lenksysteme: electronic power steering systems;
• Harman Kardon: information and entertainment modules;
• NSK: front axle wheel bearings;
• Lydall Gerhardi: gas tank heat shields;
• ZF Friedrichshafen: axle systems; and
• Filtran: automatic transmission filter systems.

The Future of Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz has long been recognized for its technical excellence, and Daimler is involved in a number of strategic joint ventures to maintain its position at the forefront of automotive precision and technology. In 2015, the company announced a partnership with Qualcomm (QCOM) aimed at developing high-tech features expected to become standard equipment for cars. The partnership is initially focused on refining in-car technology for 3G and 4G connectivity and for wireless in-car charging of mobile phones and tablets.

In the future, the companies expect to work on perfecting wireless vehicle charging technology to allow electric-car drivers to recharge battery packs without plugging into charging stations or wall boxes. Mercedes hopes to be the first automaker to incorporate such technology into its passenger cars and vans.

The company has entered into a similar partnership with the Chinese technology firm Baidu to develop in-car software that provides information and entertainment services. In 2019, Daimler AG said that that it would stop its "internal combustion engine development initiatives as part of its efforts to embrace electric vehicles."