The economic significance of the automotive industry
The automotive industry is an engine for growth, revenues, employment, and prosperity all over the world. Passenger cars are the basis of individual mobility, while trucks ensure that goods can be supplied globally. In this way, the industry, and with it our company, has a big impact on the global economy. Daimler’s revenues alone are comparable to the gross domestic products of countries like Hungary and Ukraine.
With nearly 750,000 employees, the German auto industry was once again one of the country’s biggest employers in 2007. In fact, the industry now has about 70,000 more employees than it had ten years earlier. Germany’s position as the world’s leading export nation is due primarily to the automotive industry, which accounted for more than half (€105 billion) of the country’s trade surplus.
In addition, the auto industry makes a major contribution to investments in the German economy. For example, the sector’s gross investments in plant and equipment rose last year by almost 15 percent to more than €10 billion. At more than €18 billion, the German automotive industry’s expenditures for research and development (R&D) are above average, and account for around one-third of the manufacturing sector’s total R&D outlay. In 2007, Daimler invested € 4.1 billion in R&D activities worldwide.
Daimler AG’s economic strength particularly benefits the German state of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Stuttgart, where the company is based. In fact, the state accounts for a quarter of all the jobs in the German automotive industry, and its unemployment rate is far below the national average.
Daimler’s tax payments in 2007 totaled €1.0 billion. But that’s only a fraction of the payments that the Group makes directly or indirectly to the public authorities. The state also benefits in other ways from the company’s funds – for example, from personnel expenses and social contributions (€ 20.1 billion) as well as from taxes on dividends and revenues. In addition, tax is paid by the supplier industry, financing companies, dealerships, and service providers.
Above and beyond our core business operations – selling automobiles – Daimler also benefits the economy and society in other ways. For example, the Group provides financial support to community projects and promotes infrastructure services by setting up its own sports centers.