Mercedes-Benz Group

InfluenceMap Score
C-
Performance Band
62%
Organisation Score
49%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Automobiles
Head​quarters:
Germany
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

On 1st February 2022, Daimler rebranded itself as Mercedes-Benz AG. To reflect this development, InfluenceMap’s scoring has combined data analyzed for Daimler prior to this date with data analyzed for Mercedes-Benz after 1st February 2022.

Climate Lobbying Overview: Mercedes-Benz AG has actively engaged with climate legislation in Europe and the United States in 2020-22 with mixed positioning. The company appears to show mixed engagement on key climate policies for road transport, such as EU CO2 emission standards and California’s proposed ZEV mandate, while advocating for measures to support EV infrastructure expansion. Mercedes-Benz AG holds memberships to several highly regressive industry associations in Germany, the EU and US.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Mercedes-Benz has stated support for the Paris Agreement in its 'Climate Policy' report and in a letter signed by its chairman, both from March 2022. The company also appeared to support California's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 in a May 2022 consultation response. While Mercedes-Benz indicated broad support for government regulation in its March 2022 'Climate Policy' report, it appears to favor market-based solutions, stating that emission trading schemes "should be the future leading regulatory instrument for the decarbonisation of transport".

Daimler previously appeared supportive of efforts to limit emissions in line with targets set out by the IPCC, signalling support for limiting global average temperature rise to 2°C, or ideally 1.5°C, and emphasizing the need to accelerate decarbonization on its corporate website in July 2020. Additionally, Daimler appeared to support the US re-joining the Paris Agreement in a February 2021 social media post. Daimler also appeared supportive of the EU Green Deal, signalling its commitment to its goals in a February 2021 social media post.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Mercedes-Benz AG appears to have mixed engagement on GHG emission standards for road transport in the EU and US. A July 2021 Daimler press response to the EU Fit for 55 package, which includes a 2035 zero-emissions target for light-duty vehicles, took an unclear position on the policy, with the company’s development chief stating that the higher 2030 and zero-emissions 2035 CO2 targets are "very, very ambitious". Daimler's 2021 CDP response also discloses that "any tightening of current CO2 targets should be accompanied by ambitious binding targets for infrastructure (charging and H2) on EU member states level". Additionally, Mercedes-Benz’s March 2022 'Climate Policy' report did not appear to state a clear position on the stringency level of GHG emissions standards it supports, including for EU CO2 standards. However, in June 2022, following the EU Parliament’s vote in favour of the proposed zero-emissions 2035 CO2 target, Mercedes-Benz appeared to welcome the policy in a media statement reported by Automotive News.

In the US, Mercedes-Benz AG has opposed more ambitious GHG emissions standards for light-duty vehicles. In a September 2021 Mercedes-Benz consultation response, Daimler appeared not to support higher GHG emissions stringency options, supporting only a mid-range option that included numerous flexibilities that would potentially weaken the stringency of the proposal. In its 2021 CDP Climate Change Information Request, the company stated support for a national program for vehicle GHG emissions that includes California and all other states “to avoid regulatory fragmentation”, indicating opposition to California’s ability set its own, more ambitious emissions standards. In its 2020 CDP response, Daimler also highlighted that it had pushed for an agreement between California and federal regulators on one national program, implying a reduction in stringency for California's CAFE regulations.

Mercedes-Benz's March 2022 'Climate Policy' report states general support for a carbon tax and appears to support an EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) with a carbon price "high enough to create steering effects" for low-carbon investments, although evidence suggests it appears to support the EU ETS at the expense of other climate legislation by advocating emissions trading schemes "should be the future leading regulatory instrument for the decarbonisation of transport". Mercedes Benz CEO, Ola Källenius, has repeatedly shown support for a carbon tax, advocating for its implementation in a July 2021 Salzburger Nachrichten media report, and stating in a January 2020 interview that a “tradable” tax that is “universal across industries would be the most economically and resource-efficient way of solving problems of CO2”. In an April 2021 Independent media report, Daimler further called on European policymakers to boost incentives for climate-neutral technologies, including taxing carbon and emissions trading.

Mercedes-Benz also appears to support an expansion of renewable energy in the energy mix, supporting "ambitious target setting" for the EU's Renewable Energy Directive in its 2022 'Climate Policy' report. Previously, Daimler supported a massive acceleration of capacity build-up of renewable energy in Europe in a joint CEO letter to the EU Commission in July 2021. A July 2021 Daimler tweet further seemed to support a 55% 2030 EU GHG emissions target.

Positioning on Energy Transition: While Mercedes-Benz has increasingly positive top-line messaging around electric vehicles in 2022, it has more mixed engagement around policies to electrify the sector. According to its 2022 'Climate Policy' report, Mercedes-Benz supports both the "full electrification" of vehicles and the use of plug-in hybrids and combustion engine vehicles as "bridging technology". In November 2020, Daimler welcomed the launch of Germany’s policy package to shift to low emissions vehicles, with Daimler CEO, Ola Källenius, describing the package as "exactly right". In November 2021, Mercedes-Benz signed a global pledge made at COP26 supporting a global phase-out of internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered vehicles in leading markets by 2035 and globally by 2040. However, Daimler's CEO further appeared unsupportive of policies to ban ICE vehicles in an interview regarding supporting such a pledge in November 2021.

Regarding ZEV mandates, in a May 2022 US consultation response, Mercedes-Benz appeared unsupportive of California's proposed Advanced Clean Cars II regulation, which would require an increasing percentage of new light-duty EV sales each year until a 100% ZEV mandate in 2035, advocating for numerous flexibilities.

Mercedes Benz AG appears to support electric vehicle charging infrastructure policies. In a March 2022 speech, Mercedes-Benz CEO, Ola Källenius, advocated for more ambitious EU charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Additionally, in a January 2022 US consultation response, Daimler appeared to strongly support the development of a national infrastructure plan to support a growing US ZEV market in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Industry Association Governance: Mercedes-Benz discloses its membership of key industry associations in its 2022 ‘Climate Policy’ Report, first published in March 2022, which includes the industry associations’ climate policy positions and some information regarding Mercedes-Benz alignment and influence around this. Mercedes Benz’s CEO, Ola Källenius, is on the board of both the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI). Källenius is also vice-president of the German Automotive Association (VDA). The company is a member of a number of groups which have maintained regressive positions on climate policy including the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), and US-based Alliance for Automotive Innovation and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

A detailed assessment of the company's corporate review on climate policy engagement can be found on InfluenceMap's CA100+ Investor Hub here.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q3 2022.

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Strength of Relationship
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How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.