Mercedes-Benz leadership team today unveiled a new long-term strategy outlining the brand’s plan for the next decade. The plan emphasizes six strategic pillars.

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In terms of electric vehicles, Mercedes-Benz says, “Our aim is to lead in electric drive,” adding that, “We will build the world’s most desirable electric cars.” Mercedes plans to do this through dedicated EV architectures for both large and compact/mid-size vehicles.

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However, when discussing the platforms in today’s presentation, Mercedes-Benz COO and head of R&D Markus Schäfer said, “We can fit an ICE engine in the front of the car if we need to, for as long as the market demands it,” demonstrating the brand’s hesitancy to overcommit to fully-electric vehicles. “This is a great economic equation,” Schäfer added.

Mercedes is targeting more than 50% of their vehicle production to be electrified by 2030, though they include plug-in hybrids in that total.

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Overall, improving profitability on their existing lineup and with their new models is a focus for Mercedes. As the industry goes through a period of transition, it may be difficult to manage to such a goal while also investing enough in new technology to compete with expanding offerings from Tesla and others.

For complete analysis of the strategy update as well as news and analysis on Tesla, please see the included video.

Timestamps:

  • 0:16 TSLA stock update
  • 1:00 Made-in-China Model Y production plans
  • 4:57 Tesla & BHP talk nickel supply
  • 6:04 Discussing Tesla’s PR strategy
  • 10:02 Chamath Palihapitiya talks Tesla
  • 11:39 Polestar 2 EPA rating
  • 12:59 Mercedes strategy update

Be sure to follow Tesla Daily on The Street for the latest on Tesla.

Disclosure: Rob Maurer is long TSLA stock and derivatives.

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In a speech delivered to the University of Cape Town, Robert F. Kennedy stated: “Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.” While those words were delivered in 1966, the message is even more relevant today, on both fronts—insecurity and ingenuity. As an answer to the former, the new AddArmor package for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is all about the latter.

Founded by Pete Blaber and Jeff Engen, a former US Special Mission Unit commander and high-risk law enforcement operations specialist, respectively, the Wyoming-based AddArmor team includes veteran security and military experts now focused on four-wheel panic rooms that remove the need to, you guessed it, panic. As the name implies, the outfit turns production vehicles into armored cars, the latest being the Sprinter.

“Safety is always a moving target. Staying in place is one thing, but mobility is an important part of the equation,” stated Blaber in the vehicles’ official announcement. “The freedom to move around and get places is a key element of being completely secure. Our company designed the new AddArmor Sprinter van to fulfill that requirement in the face of even the most chaotic of situations.”

To ensure that mission statement was met, the Sprinter has been fit with ballistic protection panels which are 60 percent lighter than steel but offer ten times the strength. Also on board is ballistic glass—a layering of leaded glass, polycarbonate and acrylic—the thinnest combination of which is claimed to stop the bullet from a .44 Magnum.

But that’s just for starters. Countermeasures are also part of the package, including smokescreen and pepper-spray deployment systems, sonic weaponry and (offered as an extra) electrified door handles. Even covert escape

Dimitris Psillakis

Mercedes-Benz USA Announces Dimitris Psillakis as Head of Marketing and Sales, Mercedes-Benz Cars North America and CEO of MBUSA
Mercedes-Benz USA Announces Dimitris Psillakis as Head of Marketing and Sales, Mercedes-Benz Cars North America and CEO of MBUSA
Mercedes-Benz USA Announces Dimitris Psillakis as Head of Marketing and Sales, Mercedes-Benz Cars North America and CEO of MBUSA

ATLANTA, Oct. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Daimler Board of Management has appointed Dimitris Psillakis (53) as Head of Marketing and Sales, Mercedes-Benz Cars North America and CEO of MBUSA, effective January 1, 2021. The announcement was made by Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Marketing and Sales, to whom Psillakis will report. Psillakis, who was appointed as the President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada, succeeds Nicholas Speeks, who after more than 40 years will leave the company and pursue opportunities outside of Daimler. Psillakis will be based in Atlanta, GA.

“Dimitris is a proven leader who successfully expanded the growth of Mercedes-Benz in key markets around the world,” said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Marketing and Sales. “I am confident Dimitris will continue to advance our North American operations during this time of unprecedented transformation. I would also like to thank Nick Speeks for his outstanding commitment and engagement around the globe over the past decades, and wish him all the best for the future.”

In his new role, Psillakis will assume overall responsibility for Mercedes-Benz Cars in the United States and Canada. He will lead MBUSA’s more than 1,600 employees and more than 380 dealer partners throughout the U.S. as well as an additional 1,200 employees and almost 60 authorized dealers throughout Canada. Psillakis will continue as President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada for the remainder of the year. A successor to his current role as