In an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche talks about BMW’s electric competition and political connections.
The carmaker, mainly trough its city-dwelling smart brand, entered electric mobility before the competition and is currently enjoying great benefits – the smart EV is Germany’s best sold electric car.
“With approximately 40 % market share we are the market leader in battery-powered vehicles in Germany,” he said.
Starting with 2014, Mercedes-Benz will also have a rather direct competitor in the form of BMW’s i3 electric vehicle, pitted against the newly developed electric B-Class, which uses an electric drivetrain provided by US partner Tesla. Talking about the road BMW took – developing an electric vehicle from scratch, he thinks this is an expensive way to come into the market. “We do not see that costs and benefits are to be reconciled.”
In the interview with the Handelsblatt, Zetsche also rejected criticism surrounding party donations, saying Daimler regularly donates to political parties.
“We see this as a civic duty and they are our contribution to the development of our parliamentary democracy,” said Daimler’s CEO. “In 2013, the CDU and SPD each received 100,000 Euros from us, FDP, Greens and CSU each 40,000 euros.”