SINDELFINGEN -- Daimler will tie management pay to sustainability targets as part of a strategy to ensure every second Mercedes-Benz passenger car it sells in 2030 will be a plug-in hybrid or full-electric vehicle.
Incoming CEO Ola Kallenius wants to chart a course for the automaker to be fully CO2 emissions neutral in 20 years under his new "Ambition 2039" sustainability plan. The sales target is a key milestone on the way.
"This would be a fundamental transformation of our company in fewer than three product cycles -- that's no long timeframe," he said at a press briefing in Sindelfingen, home to the bulk of Daimler's German research and development operations.
A key element going forward will be the Mercedes EQ family of electric vehicles. The EQC midsize crossover is just about to hit European markets with an electric range of up to 417 km (259 miles) under the Europe's WLTP test cycle.
Kallenius, currently development chief for Mercedes and head of group research, will succeed Dieter Zetsche as Daimler CEO at the end of the company's annual meeting on May 22.
Kallenius said he will link a portion of executive board compensation to the CO2 targets in order to firmly anchor the shift throughout the company.
Daimler does not publish information on compensation for Mercedes senior executives but at a group level, the supervisory board awarded just over 15 million euros in performance-related pay to the nine members of its management board, a drop of about 10 million over 2017 due to fewer short and midterm components.
Daimler aims to make all Mercedes car plants CO2 emissions neutral by 2022 through a mix of renewable energy, resource recycling and carbon offsets.
Kallenius said the automaker will work to create transparency regarding emissions in its supply chain.
"We have decided to make CO2 targets an important criterion when awarding contracts with suppliers," he said, in a move similar to a decision by Volkswagen.
Kallenius said the decisions were not a marketing gimmick. "This strategy will help ensure we can defend our market leadership in the auto industry," he said.