First Move the World

Before Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented the automobile life offered limited possibilities for most people: Wherever you were born was where you lived, worked and died. Europeans, for example, had a radius of action of just 20 kilometers on average.

Then the car suddenly opened up the world providing us all with opportunities our forefathers couldn’t even have imagined. The automobile has become a personal declaration of independence for millions of people. There’s no doubt cars move the world – and not just from A to B.

The global success of the automobile is its greatest challenge

However, the more people enjoy the independence a vehicle brings, the more urgently we need a new kind of independence from oil, emissions, accidents and rigid models of ownership. It’s ironic: The global success of the automobile has become its greatest challenge. The goal for the entire Mercedes team is to solve this paradox. After all, as inventors of the automobile, the passion to create a better future is part of our DNA.

So, over the past few months we have asked ourselves some fundamental questions: What truly motivates us, above and beyond our profitability targets? Why are our employees, customers, and shareholders proud to be part of this company? Here is a LinkedIn piece about the rationale behind this initiativ.

In essence, its about getting to the roots of our answer to this question: What for does Mercedes-Benz actually exist?

First Move the World.

This is our concise answer. This is our purpose.

Instead of just focusing on KPIs we understand this guiding principle as the long-term orientation for our decisions and actions. Our responsibility is not just to challenge ourselves, but to challenge the industry we founded and improve the world we founded it for.

First Move the World means we strive to create progress – to take bold steps and make a positive impact. That’s why we’re so enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by connectivity. That’s why we want to be pioneers in the field of autonomous driving. That’s why we are passionately promoting new mobility services. And that’s why we are forging ahead with electric mobility.

Co2-neutral production in 2022

As another big step forward we’ve decided to apply leverage where our products come into life. We are proud to confirm that Mercedes-Benz is rapidly moving toward carbon-neutral production:

From 2022 on all of our passenger car plants in Germany will engage in C02-neutral production. We will dispense with coal-generated electricity and only obtain electricity from renewable sources. From the outset we plan to build our new plants in Europe, such as Jawor in Poland and Kecskemét in Hungary, to be supplied with CO2-neutral energy. In order to compensate for CO2 emissions from existing natural gas systems and our own power plants, we will use offsets from selected projects.

Of course, many more steps will follow. At Mercedes-Benz our “Purpose” is meant to impact everything we do. First Move the World. Just four simple words, but a bold ambition. We know very well that living up to this ambition in every part of our business will not be easy. But we are convinced that this course is right. Because that’s exactly what our founding fathers stood for. Carl Benz said:

The passion to invent will never end.

And this passion still drives us today. It’s about nothing less that reinventing mobility. Almost 145,000 people are working on doing just that at Mercedes-Benz. Step by step. Each and every day.

And I’m both proud and grateful to be a part of this exciting endeavor.

Dieter Zetsche is Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.