The great stampede to electrification not only means more electric vehicles will be on the road in the next decade, but a likely reshaping of the companies that build them.
Indeed, as Daimler confronts the shift to EVs — as well as self-driving vehicles — it is firming up plans for a major corporate overhaul. It is granting its car and truck operations more independence in a move that could pave the way for spinoffs and other deals.
Under the plan, announced last week, Daimler would break up its conglomerate structure by transforming itself into a holding company with three separate units: Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans, Daimler Trucks & Buses and the financial services division. The value of Daimler's operations isn't entirely reflected in its share price, according to Evercore ISI, which estimates the group's value at $125 billion if it lists the commercial vehicle unit, about 45 percent more than its current valuation.
Daimler says the move is aimed at giving "greater entrepreneurial responsibility" to the businesses. The company said it doesn't plan to divest any divisions so it can maintain synergies, such as the trucks and cars operations sharing costs to develop self-driving features.
Still, said Christian Ludwig, an analyst at Bankhaus Lampe: "The plan for spinoffs looks to be in place."