According to the company’s annual report, Daimler AG has decided to upgrade its performance measuring standards by excluding some less competitive rivals from its usual pool of carmakers used to measure its own profitability and the payment to managers.
In its strive to reclaim the top spot among premium automakers, lost to BMW in 2011, Daimler also opted in nominating former Volkswagen and BMW CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder, 66, for a seat in the supervisory board.
Besides that, thanks to the improved sales results of 2013, in which Mercedes-Benz managed to reduce the gap between them and Audi and BMW, while also growing faster than both rivals at the start of 2014, Daimler also opted in raising the pay of its CEO. Dieter Zetsche, who just a few years ago was almost ousted from the carmaker, is now reaping the benefits of its growth strategy – and Daimler has acknowledged that by deciding to raise the executive’s pay to 8.25 million euros ($11.3 million).
The automaker also announced it decided not to compare its performance to other rivals who don’t feature an investment-grade credit rating – like Renault or Fiat.
“This is significant because they are comparing themselves to competitors that are harder to keep up with. In the past Daimler often had it too easy,” Metzler Bank automotive analyst Juegen Pieper said.
For 2013 and 2014, Daimler set the benchmarking standards for the payments to the management board members in part by measuring the sales return to that of rivals from BMW, Volkswagen, Fiat, Honda, Volvo, Renault and Toyota. For 2014, the procedure will change to include all stock-exchange-listed auto manufacturers that have an investment-grade rating.