BUSINESS | Daimler To Cut Fixed Costs By More Than 20% In Luxury Drive

FRANKFURT  – Daimler said on Tuesday it will cut fixed costs, capex and research and development expenditure by more than 20% by 2025 as part of a strategy overhaul to reposition Mercedes-Benz as a more high-end luxury brand.

Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius told investors that compact vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz A and B-Class vehicles had helped rejuvenate that brand, but would not be the main priority for devoting resources in future.

‘This is not where the main thrust should go, we should not become a competitor of the volume makers’, Kalleniuns said during a virtual presentation.

Mercedes – Benz plans to achieve a double – digit return on sales margin by doubling sales of Maybach branded cars, and ramping up sales of AMG and G-Wagon derivatives while slashing costs and increasing economies of scale on new platforms.

It would aim to cut fixed costs by 20% by 2025 from 2019 levels and place more emphasis on margins rather than volumes.

‘We will pursue higher portfolio profitability, we will steer by contribution margin, we will move (the) existing portfolio margin up and move  (the)  existing portfolio margin up and move capital to luxury and high – end products’,  Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhem said during the presentation.

This will allow Mercedes-Benz to achieve a return on sales within a mind to high single – digit range even when markets are weak, by 2025, the carmaker said.

Cost cutting and efficiency gain will help lower the company’s break – even point. Manual gearboxes will be dropped as an option, and the variety of combustion engines on offer will be cut by 70% by 2030.

Luxury cars will also take less time to build. The new Mercedes S-Class takes 25% less time to assemble compared to the predecessor generation vehicle, Daimler said.

Margins will improve as purchasing costs come down. For its electric cars, Daimler is seeking to cut the cost of  battery systems to below 100 euros per kilowatt hours by mid decade. The Mercedes-Benz EQS will be launched next year, Mercedes said.

Daimler aims to release a new softwear vehicle operating system, known as MB.OS, by 2024 and to use over-the-air updated to generate an operating profit of 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion) by 2025 from digital services which include parking and charging transactions.

Daimler has already cut costs as the coronavirus pandemic led to a slump in sales, pushing the German company to operating losses in the first and second quarters.

To counter losses, Mercedes-Benz stopped building sedans in the United States to focus on more profitable SUVs, combined its fuel cell development with Volvo Trucks, and halted an automated development alliance with BMW.

Saudi Arabia’s FII: World Leaders To Discuss Building A Strong Economy Post – Pandemic

MILAN – – World Leaders, former presidents, CEOs and heads of economy will be among those converging for Saudi Arabia’s fourth annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference this week. Discussion about the future of global economies in a post – pandemic world are on the agenda. The event will feature over 140 speakers and will officially be opened … Continue reading Saudi Arabia’s FII: World Leaders To Discuss Building A Strong Economy Post – Pandemic

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Announces New 5-Year Strategy For Kingdom’s Economy

JEDDAH – – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday launched a new five – year strategy for the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund as Saudi Arabia drives toward achieving its Vision 2030 goal to diversify the economy away from dependence on oil. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will pump at least $40 billion a … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Announces New 5-Year Strategy For Kingdom’s Economy

CORONAVIRUS ALERT | French Health Body Recommends Delaying Second Covid Shot To Six Weeks After First

PARIS – – France’s top health advisory body on Saturday recommended doubling the time between people being given the first and second Covid-19 vaccination to six weeks from three  in order to increase the number getting inoculated . The gap between the first and second injection in France is currently three weeks for people in … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS ALERT | French Health Body Recommends Delaying Second Covid Shot To Six Weeks After First

BREAKING NEWS | Police Round Up More Than 350 At Russia Protests Backing Jailed Kremlin Foe Navalny

Police detained more than 350 people across Russia on Saturday and broke up rallies around the country as protesters defied bitter cold and a ban by authorities to demand the release of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Navalny had called on his supporter to protest after being arrested last weekend as he returned to Moscow … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Police Round Up More Than 350 At Russia Protests Backing Jailed Kremlin Foe Navalny

BUSINESS | UAE Confirms It Inked $23 Billion To Buy F-35 Jets, Drones From U.S.

WASHINGTON – – The United Arab Emirates confirmed that it signed agreements with the United States on former President Donald Trump’s last full day in office to purchase up to 50 F-35 jets, 18 armed drones and other defense equipment in a deal worth $23 billion. The UAE embassy in Washington said in a statement … Continue reading BUSINESS | UAE Confirms It Inked $23 Billion To Buy F-35 Jets, Drones From U.S.

Breaking News | Saudi TV Says Missile Or Drone Intercepted Over Riyadh

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia said Saturday it intercepted an apparent missile or drone attack over its capital, Riyadh, amid the kingdom’s yearlong war against neighbouring Yemen’s Houthi rebels.Social media users posted video of what appeared to be an explosion in the air over Riyadh. Saudi State TV quoted authorities in the kingdom acknowledging the … Continue reading Breaking News | Saudi TV Says Missile Or Drone Intercepted Over Riyadh

TRAVEL | Denmark Suspend Dubai Flights Amid Doubts Over Virus Tests

 DUBAI – Denmark has temporarily suspended all flights from the United Arab Emirates for five days after suspicion arose that the coronavirus tests that can be obtained before leaving Dubai are not reliable, authorities announced Friday. The development, which comes amid a surge of infections in the UAE, poses a direct challenge to the mass … Continue reading TRAVEL | Denmark Suspend Dubai Flights Amid Doubts Over Virus Tests

BUSINESS | Google Seals Content Payment Deal With French News Publishers

PARIS – – Google and a French publishers’ lobby said on Thursday they had agreed to a copyright framework for the U.S. tech giant to pay news publishers for content online, in a first for Europe.The move paves the way for individual licensing agreements for French publications, some of which have seen revenues drop with … Continue reading BUSINESS | Google Seals Content Payment Deal With French News Publishers

Business News | BioNTech Investors, Amid Worry Over Shortage, Vows Vaccines To Be Delivered For Second Shot

MILAN – European countries should use all available vaccine doses provided by biotech firm BioNTech and its partner Pfizer because there will be enough for the requisite second booster shot due to a planned production ramp – up, BioNTech’s largest investor said. Some countries were believed to be withholding some vaccines for fear of shortage … Continue reading Business News | BioNTech Investors, Amid Worry Over Shortage, Vows Vaccines To Be Delivered For Second Shot

BREAKING NEWS | Arab Coalition Thwarts Two Houthi Attacks

The Saudi – led coalition fighting against Yemen’s Houthi movement said it thwarted two attacks by the Houthis on Friday morning, including destroying an explosive – laden boat in the southern Red Sea, Saudi State TV said on Twitter. The coalition also intercepted and destroyed an explosive – laden drone launched by the Houthis toward … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Arab Coalition Thwarts Two Houthi Attacks

ARTS & CULTURE | Lebanon Return Two Stolen 18th – Century Religious Icons To Greece

ATHENS – – Lebanon handed back two 18th – century religious icons of Jesus and Mary to Greece on Tuesday after they were seized during an auction, a judicial sources said. The paintings were stole from an exhibition in Athens in 2016, and Greece put out an international notice calling for their return. Icons are … Continue reading ARTS & CULTURE | Lebanon Return Two Stolen 18th – Century Religious Icons To Greece

CORONAVIRUS | Saudi Arabia Reschedules COVID-19 Vaccinations Amid Pfizer Delay

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia has rescheduled appointment for the administration of COVID-19 vaccine due Pfizer delivery delays, the Ministry of Health announced on Thursday in a tweet. Authorities said that those with appointments to receive their first dose will be rescheduled ‘due to the delay of the manufacturer in supplying the Kingdom and all … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS | Saudi Arabia Reschedules COVID-19 Vaccinations Amid Pfizer Delay

ENTERTAINMENT | Dubai Suspends Live Entertainment Permits As Covid-19 Cases Surge

MILAN – – Dubai has suspended live entertainment permits for hotels and restaurants amid a surge in COVID-19 cases according to an official circular issued by Dubai Tourism. ‘The Department observed, through field inspection, an increase in number violations during entertainment activities in hotels and restaurants. Accordingly. the Department directs all concerned in hotel establishments … Continue reading ENTERTAINMENT | Dubai Suspends Live Entertainment Permits As Covid-19 Cases Surge

BREAKING NEWS | Trump Pardons Ex – Aide Bannon But Not Himself Or Family

U.S. President Donald Trump granted clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations issued in his final hours in office, but did not pardon himself, members of his family or lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Trump leaves office on Wednesday, when Joe Biden is sworn in as the … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Trump Pardons Ex – Aide Bannon But Not Himself Or Family

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has received a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron in which they discussed bilateral relations. ‘During the call, they reviewed relations between the two countries and opportunities for joint cooperation. Regional and international developments were discussed, and a number of issues of common interest … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

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