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Daimler

Daimler

Industry: 
Automative
Value of USG Contracts: 
4200
Symbol: 
ETR:DAI
States: 
AL
CA
MI
NJ
NY
NC
OR
SC
TX
Country: 
Germany
Sources: 

Daimler AG is the parent company of Mercedes-Benz

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"Daimler AG's commercial vehicles division says it is in talks with potential partners in Iran to resume production in the country as sanctions look set to be lifted.  Roland Schneider, president and CEO of Daimler Commercial Vehicles in the Middle East and North Africa, said the German manufacturer intends to open a representative office in Iran 'as soon as possible'. 'Iran offers great opportunities for Daimler Commercial Vehicles, and we are currently preparing to re-enter this market,' he was reported as saying on Sunday... In August, Iran Khodro Managing Director Hashem Yekke-Zare said his company and Daimler's subsidiary Mercedes-Benz would sign a deal 'soon' for production of luxury cars and commercial vehicles. The German company, he said, intended to buy 30% of shares in the Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing (IDEM) in Tabriz to build diesel engines. Mercedes-Benz gave up its 30% stake in IDEM and quit plans to export three-axle trucks to Iran in 2010 in fear of reprisals from the US where Daimler reportedly controls about 40% of the heavy truck market." (Press TV, "Daimler Trucks says looking for partners in Iran," 11/30/15)

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"Daimler continues to hold discussions with its Iranian partners about reviving operations in the country, with hopes that the sales opportunities there could help offset any negative impact in the Middle East from low oil prices. In the wake of this year's nuclear deal between Iran, the P5+1 nations and the European Union, investors and businesses are awaiting the lifting of sanctions and the chance to tap into a $406.3 billion economy. Speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East, Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the board of management of Daimler responsible for trucks and buses, said the company was 'right now negotiating and discussing with our Iranian partners.' He added that a major milestone would be lifting of sanctions in March or April and that, once it was able to come to terms with its partners, Daimler would go public with its plans. We've been in the country since the 1950s. We've been a major supplier of trucks and buses and passenger for many years. We had assembly operations, axle operations, engine operations, manufacturing of all these components in the country. '[This] machinery and equipment [is] still there. They have been mothballed; nothing that we cannot re-establish and fix. We just need an oil can and a rag to dust them off.' Bernhard said the company also had a trained, local workforce ready to take up tools again, adding that was important to Iranian authorities. Daimler shut down its Iranian office four years ago, also abandoning a 30 per cent stake in a diesel-engine venture with Iran Khodro and halting deliveries of three-axle trucks." (Bloomberg News, "For Daimler, Iran Could Buffer Middle East Oil Impact," 11/3/15) 

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"Daimler is planning to resume business in Iran following the country's nuclear deal with world powers, Bernhard said. The accord looks likely to be implemented after efforts by U.S. Republicans to kill the agreement collapsed on Thursday. 'We will revive our activities which we let rest for many years,' he said. 'Iran is a great opportunity for us.'" (Reuters, "Daimler trucks boss braces for prolonged Brazil slump," 9/11/15) 

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"Daimler AG is exploring a return to Iran with its trucks, vans and buses and may team with Iran Khodro Co., the biggest auto producer in the oil-rich country, as western companies seek to benefit from the end of economic sanctions... 'The position for us in terms of trucks and cars and our broad portfolio is a good one,' Daimler Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber told reporters Tuesday in London. 'It’s too early to say how far that can be, but of course we are in contact with our business partners to have discussions how to restart.' Daimler declined to comment on specifics of any talks with Iran Khodro." (Bloomberg, "Daimler Pushes Ahead With Talks to Return to Iran Truck Market," 7/28/15)

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"Volkswagen and Daimler are exploring a return to Iran after the Islamic Republic’s nuclear accord with the West pointed to an easing of economic sanctions that restricted car makers’ business there... Daimler is doing some individual business transactions in the country, the Stuttgart-based maker of Mercedes-Benz cars said in an e-mail." (Business Day, "European Car Giants Licking Lips over Iran," 7/17/15)

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"As talks about a deal with Iran approach a Tuesday deadline, a senior German official said: 'It's like a regatta. Everyone is trying to put themselves in the best position to be first when the starting gun sounds.' ...The German official mentioned Volkswagen and Daimler as among those jostling for position. Volkswagen said it had not restarted any business activities in Iran and Daimler said it was closely monitoring the situation although any transactions or re-entry into Iran would depend on the outcome of the nuclear talks." (Reuters, "German Exporters Eye Lucrative Deals in Post-Sanctions Iran," 7/5/15)

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"Daimler AG's Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said Wednesday the German auto maker will divest its 30% stake in Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing as part of a wider review of its business relationships with the country. 'In view of the current political situation we have...extensively reassessed this business relationship,' Mr. Zetsche told shareholders at Daimler's annual general meeting." (The Wall Street Journal, "Daimler Downgrades Ties to Iran," 4/14/10)

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"Daimler has maintained a partnership with Iran car maker Iran Khodro since the 1960s, according to a company spokesperson, and it owns a 30 percent stake in an engine manufacturer owned by Iran Khodro. The company still ships cars to Iran, but new German export laws prohibit the sale of large trucks, and the spokesperson said that the sales are a small portion of worldwide revenue. Daimler and its subsidiaries have won contracts to supply cars and trucks to the U.S. government."  The company received $4.2 billion from the US government for their business investments in Iran during 2000-2009.  Their activities in Iran are currently active. (The New York Times, "Profiting from Iran, and the US," 3/6/2010)

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Germany's trade ties to Iran stretch back to the Middle Ages, and many of the companies currently there have been active in Iran for decades. Some 85 German companies have operations in Iran, from chemical maker BASF AG to Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Bayer AG, and others such as Linde AG and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG are active there, according to the Hamburg-based German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce. More than 7,000 companies conduct business there through local representatives. Germany has become such a big trading partner for Iran because so many of its companies provide the machinery and engineering prowess Iran needs to improve its infrastructure.(The Wall Street Journal, "German Firms Feel Pressure Over Tehran Trade," 10/3/09)

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Several renowned German companies are involved in major Iranian infrastructure projects, especially in the petrochemical sector, like Linde, BASF, Lurgi, Krupp, Siemens, ZF Friedrichshafen, Mercedes, Volkswagen and MAN. (Payvand News, Iranian exports to Germany rose 50% last year, 1/9/08)

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Major Non-Oil Investments [In Iran]: Renault (France) and Mercedes (Germany)- automobile production in Karaj, Iran--valued at $370 million. (Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs, Iran: U.S. concerns and policy responses, 12/1/07)

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German companies such as Siemens, BASF, Mercedes, and Volkswagen maintain strong business ties with Iran. (The New York Sun, Attack on Iran Said To Be Imminent, 9/28/07)

Response: 

In April 2010, Daimler AG cut much of its business with Iran following German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to support U.S. President Barack Obama to penalize Iran and boycott Tehran after a nuclear security summit, along with other German companies Siemens, Allianz, and Munich Re.

"According to Daimler AG CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche, they will not be totally abandoning the country. The company will still honor existing contracts and provide support to their loyal Iranian customers. They will, however, cease to supply parts to the Middle East’s largest automaker, Iran Khodro, which manufactures local Mercedes-Benz E-Class models."

"Daimler AG also plans to liquidate a 30-percent share in an Iranian engine builder, as well as halt any and all exports of cars and trucks pass the Iranian border. Figuratively speaking, Iran contributed less than a thousandth of their $107.9 billion revenue in 2009" (BenzInsider.com, "Daimler AG Turned Off by Iran's Nuclear Policy," April 15, 2010)