While it was announced recently that Daimler Trucks will be spun off by its parent group later this year, the head of the union representative works council, Michael Brecht said that the company should invest much of its $AUD2.3billion (€1.5 billion) cleaner technologies fund in Germany, rather than in other countries, presumably referring to the truck manufacturing behemoth’s other technology hubs in the USA and Japan.
The verbal media sparring from Brecht hints that Daimler may have to weather some headwinds as it looks to invest any money generated by a float in its global development centres.
The announcement on 3rd February that Daimler would spin off the world’s largest truck and bus maker, was seen as an effort to increase its appeal to investors with two more focused, electrically driven truck and luxury cars businesses.
In an interview with a German newspaper, Michael Brecht was asked how the German staff he represents would benefit from the cleaner technology fund.
“We will develop proposals for new projects for individual sites, with which we can support additional employment and the change to new drive technologies,” Brecht said.
Asked whether the money could be used for investments such as U.S. autonomous driving software start-ups, Brecht said: “The money is not for any old acquisitions.”
As for potential spending in Sweden for the Volvo venture, he said: “The fuel cell drive system will have to be produced at one of our (German) sites. There is no doubt about that.”
Daimler Trucks chief executive Martin Daum told Reuters that a full line of zero-emission commercial vehicles could be ready by 2027, but deploying them needed fresh investments.
In what was seen as a gentle nudge to Brecht, Daum also highlighted growth opportunities in China, India and other markets such as Indonesia as Daimler Trucks looks to the future.