Mercedes-Benz to become more focused, quicker to react image

The German automaker’s research and development chief, Thomas Weber, believes Mercedes-Benz needs to transition to a leaner, quicker and more focused strategy.

Weber sees the automaker in a need to react even faster to the rapidly evolving auto market trends in order to recapture the prestigious top position among global premium automakers before the new decade starts. In order to do that, his team has been tasked to shift its attention towards such areas as connectivity, autonomous driving and zero emissions. The company’s new Next Stage cost slashing strategy is also affecting the automaker’s R&D operations, but the executive said that in his department saving money is not necessarily the primary goal, but increasing efficiency and speed – which in turn would incidentally also cut the running costs.

His new priorities, in the rapidly changing automotive world, are redirected towards connectivity, autonomous driving and zero-emissions – sectors seen crucial for the future of any carmaker. These high tech areas have now come in contact with technology giants such as Apple and Google, with the latter being able to poach talented auto engineers with utterly attractive salaries. But Weber says the company can offer numerous incentives, from working for Mercedes-Benz to reaching the AMG and Formula One divisions – all dream jobs for a hardcore auto engineer. The executive also poached the hard targets set up by the European Union, with the latest developments having automakers now supportive of the initiative to include road transport in the Emissions Trading Scheme – all in the hopes that in the future the emissions targets would be easier to manage and achieve. Today, even as carmakers rush to introduce more fuel saving technologies and greener vehicles, the European average for emissions is still on the rise.

Via Automotive News Europe