Daimler's chairman of the board, Dieter Zetsche, has told shareholders that Europe must stay united in order for business to thrive in a changing world.
Speaking at Daimler’s annual shareholders meeting, Zetsche hinted that the success of its brands, which include Mercedes-Benz and Smart, benefit heavily from the European Union’s (EU) free trade zone and free movement of staff.
“Growth and prosperity thrive through cooperation rather than isolation,” he said, making reference to upcoming elections in France and Germany that could be affected by the trend set with Britain’s exit from the EU.
Zetsche hinted that Daimler’s financial success, which reached an all-time high in 2016 with net profit up to €8.8 billion from €8.7bn in 2015, has directly benefitted from the EU. He emphasised the company’s Europe-wide partnerships, including the rolling out of a network of fast chargers for its upcoming electric cars, which were previewed with the EQ concept (pictured below).
The meeting focused heavily on the transition of Daimler and its brands from being a producer of vehicles to becoming a mobility supplier.