Daimler pays around $ 2 billion to America for manipulated exhaust systems. Nevertheless, the diesel scandal for the automaker is far from over.
Et is a rollercoaster of emotions that Daimler employees experience this year. The conveyor belts stood still for weeks and the car dealerships were closed due to Corona. Then the logical consequence was a series of speculations about how many billions of euros Daimler is missing from the cash register and how many jobs are likely to fall victim to the savings plan. There was hope that the Chinese, and thus the most important Mercedes customers in the world, were already ordering a record number of cars. And in good time before the summer vacation, it was clear that the future security with the employment guarantee would last until 2029, because the Daimler employees were foregoing a small part of their salary.
Now comes the next knock: Daimler is transferring around 2 billion euros to America because car buyers and environmental authorities had sued for manipulated exhaust systems in Mercedes cars.
Many employees are probably now wondering whether the thumbscrews are about to be tightened again. The concern is justified – and yet again not. The settlement with the plaintiffs in America does not fall from the sky, but is the result of protracted negotiations, and accordingly – as for other cases in connection with the diesel scandal – provisions have already been made in the balance sheets. In other words: the foreseeable burden has already reduced the profit reported so far. The good news is that Daimler can tick this off, at least in America. A subject that was fraught with great uncertainty, because in America in particular, consumer advocates have particularly creative ideas on how they can demand a lot of money from companies for their clients (and themselves).
Please no new trickery!
Nevertheless, the diesel scandal for Daimler is far from over. The Stuttgart manufacturer has so far successfully averted mass lawsuits from diesel drivers in Germany. But that can still change, because decisions are still pending before the Federal Court of Justice and the European Court of Justice. If the environmental aspects are more in the foreground there than before, billions of euros could be due again.
All employees who are now annoyed that they are being transferred a few percent less wages every month because the company is doing so badly would be well advised not to get too upset about it. It would be more important to look ahead now and to help ensure that you are really clean in the future. Group boss Ola Källenius showed the way to a CO2-neutral company even before he took office last spring. This is a difficult task, especially for a manufacturer of luxury cars, which today are often referred to as fuel spinners.
Despite all the progress that has been made, there are reasons why some suspect that the good CO2 values could also be created by trickery, like the supposedly good nitrogen oxide values in the diesel era. Everyone in the group should do their part to ensure that this is not necessary, but that the transformation really succeeds. Because Daimler, as an industrial icon, is so in the public eye, this success is not only important for the company itself, but also for society.