Editorial – The View Ahead 2/2006

Dear readers,

Ever since Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz invented the automobile, their pioneering spirit has been motivating us to come up with outstanding automotive innovations. Whether it’s vehicle construction, design or safety technology, DaimlerChrysler has been a leader when it comes to producing impressive concepts that enhance our customers’ individual mobility.

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DaimlerChrysler is also devising pioneering solutions for the processes we use within the Group for vehicle development and production. For example, our researchers and developers are working on methods that will enable us to assess the reliability of new components as early as the concept stage. They are also developing future-oriented processes in production and materials technology that will facilitate lightweight construction and thus help save energy.

In the “Digital Factory” project, we have begun to link up our value chain digitally, from the initial concept all the way to the final product. Here, our hall, body shop, assembly line and logistics planners are already benefiting from the same digital processes that our development engineers use to design components and vehicles. In this way, we can achieve an advanced degree of product development at an early stage when a model series is launched or updated.

Mobility is a fundamental value of our society. Responsible and forward-looking action must therefore be geared toward achieving sustainable mobility. That’s why we are working intensively on new concepts such as fuel cell drive systems. The DaimlerChrysler F-Cell test fleet has already successfully covered more than two million kilometers worldwide.

And just in time for the introduction of low-sulfur diesel fuel in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz has launched the new E-Class E 320 BLUETEC on the U.S. market. In addition to being the cleanest diesel worldwide, this low-emission vehicle is one of the most fuel-efficient in its class. As a pioneer of a new diesel era, this E-Class is seamlessly continuing our company’s great tradition.

Thomas Weber

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