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Daimler ‒ from OEM to digital service provider

Digitalization Changes Buyer Behavior

With growing digitalization and the increased prevalence of smartphones, consumer expectations have changed. Car sharing apps have become commonplace and young people living in large cities are now using these apps rather than buying a car. Due to this fundamental change, it has become clear that digitalization will also have an impact on other areas of buying behavior. Daimler wanted to benefit from this opportunity and decided to implement their own future-proof digital business model. The purchase of digital offers such as navigation, assistance, and entertainment services should be decoupled from the vehicle purchase, so that the vehicle can be used flexibly and as required. Similar to a smartphone, this makes it possible to equip the vehicle with all of the latest apps.

A Digital Business Model Requires New Mindsets and Structures

In order to develop and implement the appropriate structures for this, Daimler chose Capgemini as its partner. It was not only a matter of implementing the digital infrastructure, but also of clarifying legal questions and adapting or developing new distribution processes. Therefore, the client wanted to benefit from Capgemini’s knowledge and experience with digital business models and transformation processes. Capgemini supported the automotive group with the conception and execution of the project and the management of various project teams, which were composed of around ten Capgemini employees and close to 100 employees of the client. Together they established an interim organization that developed the implementation model and divided the project into different work packages. This included technical and systemic aspects and evaluating market regions for the product launches, as well as developing and implementing many innovations such as a digital commerce platform, a pricing model, and new contractual models for the sale of Daimler to customers. Furthermore, the transition from old processes to the new ones had to be prepared for implementation. The project was subdivided into various milestones. The beginning was characterized by the relaunch of a vehicle model. Users of these vehicles were the first to be able to utilize the new services. The initial product was the “Remote Parking Pilot”, which included an app. According to Daimler, the “Remote Parking Pilot” is an important differentiating feature of the new model range launched in April.

Results Count – Successful Start for “Mercedes me”

Within twelve months and in collaboration with the client, Capgemini designed a concept for the direct sale of digital services to customers, created the structures, and successfully put them into live operation. The services have been bundled together into products, which can be ordered using the new portal “Mercedes me”, where each customer can select and manage their individual mobility, connectivity, customer support, and financial services for which they sign a framework contract with the automotive group.

The Future Ahead – Developing the Digital Business Model

The next step is to enable customers to renew a Live Traffic service license using the online shop, which will be available in its final version in about one year. Then all related purchasing processes will be completely switched over to the new structure. The services will initially be available in Europe and later globally, in all Daimler distribution regions including China. The automotive group has thus created the basis for implementing a new digital business model, enabling the company to develop new services and market them directly using the platform.