Mr. Jürgen Grässlin, Freiburg
Regarding Item 3 of the Agenda: »The actions of the members of the Board of Management are not to be ratified.
The Board of Management of the Daimler Group made some welcome decisions in the past two financial years – and also this year. With the exit from the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS N.V.) and recently from Tognum AG (now Rolls Royce Power Systems), the Board of Management has followed the longstanding demand, DISARM DAIMLER, of the Daimler Critical Shareholders (KAD, Arndstraße 31, 70197 Stuttgart, tel.: +49 711 608396, www.kritischeaktionaere.de).
The Daimler Board of Management has pushed forward with its focus on the core automotive business – which expressly deserves praise. The mistaken decisions of the former Board of Management Chairmen Edzard Reuter (nicely presented as an »integrated technology group") and Jürgen E. Schrempp (in the form of creating or maintaining a mixed-goods group with a high proportion of armaments) have partially been reversed – but only partially.
Because death is still a master from Wörth, Bolsheim (France), Portland (USA) and Mannheim. Many thousands of military vehicles are still produced in those Daimler plants; engines for military vehicles are still supplied from the Daimler plant in Mannheim. In the military version, Mercedes vehicles are in demand worldwide: Military forces, security forces and guerilla units have been dealing in death with these goods for decades – and have done so this year as well.
For example, Mercedes military vehicles were and are available for use in the battlefields of the Iraq war, the Russia-Georgia War, the Libya war and currently the Afghanistan war and the Syria war. These verifiable facts are extremely unpleasant for the Daimler management; they do massive damage to the company's reputation. They are used for transporting tanks and to transport troops and materials to the front, as well as to take away corpses of killed combatants and civilians. Executions have also taken place on Mercedes military vehicles in the past, as proven by photographs from Iran made available to the German Peace Society – United Opponents of Military Conscription (Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen, DFG-VK, www.dfg-vk.de).
Furthermore, the campaign »Action Outcry – Stop the Arms Trade!" (www.aufschrei-waffenhandel.de) has proof that solely of Unimog vehicles in the military version, a number of more than 150,000 have been sold to over 80 armies worldwide – as stated on the Mercedes Military website (www.mb-military-vehicles.com) before it was made less explicit. The countries receiving Unimogs included Egypt, Algeria, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey etc. (see »Arms trade black book. How Germany profits from war" published by Heyne, pages 294 ff).
And many more military vehicles are produced: the G wagon, vans, Axor/Atego, Zetros and Actros. At the same time, the next armaments fairs and sales fairs of FIDAE in Chile, CANSEC in Canada, EUROSATORY in France und AAD in South Africa have been advertised on the Mercedes Military website. The profit from armaments sales is what counts – morals and ethics then come under the wheels of the Mercedes military vehicles. In this context, the so-called »social and ethical principles" of Daimler AG are simply nonsense. As long as the Daimler Group supplies military vehicles to countries engaged in warfare, regimes that violate human rights and even to dictatorships, the principles of »good corporate governance," »corporate social responsibility" and »code of ethics" are not worth the paper they are printed on. In view of the facts, membership of the Global Compact of the United Nations seems to be pure hypocrisy.
As long as the Daimler Board of Management under the leadership of Dieter Zetsche continues with its uninhibited policy of exporting military vehicles, its actions cannot be ratified. On the contrary, the Board of Management must be made responsible for the fact that customers buy vehicles from automotive companies that are free of armaments activities and invest their money elsewhere – ethically and responsibly.
According to a recent survey carried out in February 2014 on behalf of Germany's Stiftung Warentest (an organization that tests goods and services) and the Bremen Consumer Center (http://www.test.de/Umfrage-zu-ethisch-oekologischen-Geldanlagen-Was-Anlegern-wichtig-ist-4654401-0/), ethical aspects play a decisive role in the search for politically correct investments.
The survey of more than one thousand consumers by Forsa, an opinion research institute, revealed a clear picture: »Weapons and armaments have no place in an ethical-ecological investment."
Anyone who buys Mercedes vehicles is still buying from a producer of armaments. Anyone who invests in Daimler is still investing in the armaments business. This must change fundamentally, for ethical and moral reasons as well as for business reasons!"