Daimler AG plans spin off its trucks business in a move that underscores how conventional auto builders are scrambling to boost their stock market value, AutoMobilSport reported on Thursday.
Daimler AG will split up into the world's biggest manufacturers of luxury sedans and commercial vehicles, rebranding itself Mercedes-Benz and listing its truck division, to be named Daimler Truck, as a separate entity by year-end.
The Stuttgart-based company said it would hand over a "significant majority" of shares in its trucks business to company shareholders by end of the year as it hopes to focus on developing luxury electric vehicles and automotive software in the coming months, The Wall Street Journal said.
Investors welcomed the news, pushing Daimler's shares up almost 9% to 64.56 euros ($77.67) in Frankfurt on Wednesday, their highest close since May 2018.
Daimler wants to have a piece of the "Mercedes-Benz" identity to better differentiate its plans for the future. Mercedes-Benz would take care of cars that run on batteries, while Daimler Truck would pursue sustainable solutions for zero-emissions for its massive trucks and busses, Sean Szymkowski of Road Show said.
"This is a historic moment for Daimler. It represents the start of a profound reshaping of the company," Ola Källenius, chairman of Daimler's board of management, said in in a statement quoted by Greg Gardner of Forbes.
"Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans and Daimler Trucks & Buses are different businesses with specific customer groups, technology paths and capital needs," Gardner said.
According to Reuters, Daimler's decision to divide itself follows the moves of other German auto makers like Siemens AG, after stakeholders pressed board executives to split up conglomerates.
The break-up also accentuates the Mercedes-Benz luxury car brand to challenge Tesla, BMW, Porsche and other car companies competing in the electric, premium vehicles market.
In the truck business, Daimler faces traditional competitors like Sweden's AB Volvo, Volkswagen AG unit Traton and Paccar.
In a statement, Chief Executive Officer Ola Kallenius said the Daimler truck units and the Mercedes-Benz cars are "different businesses with specific customer groups, technology paths and capital needs."
Daimler AG's truck and bus unit has more than 100,000 staff and builds Thomas Built buses and Freightliner trucks. It has manufacturing plants globally, including in Woerth and Gaggenau, Germany, Cleveland, Ohio, Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, and Portland, Oregon.