JG-»Counter-motion of the shareholder Jürgen Grässlin
The actions of the members of the Board of Management
are not to be ratified«
because of the export of military vehicles
to states abusing human rights
and because of participation of arm fairs like the IDEX 2017
on March 29th, 2017

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.


Irrespective of the fatal consequences, the Board of Management of Daimler AG under the leadership of Dr. Dieter Zetsche continues to pursue a deeply inhuman export policy of Mercedes military vehicles. This is promoted by participation in armaments trade fairs such as IDEX in Abu Dhabi in February 2017. Nonetheless, the Daimler Board of Management refers in the Annual Report 2016 to the ethical principles of the UN Global Compact (see page 208). Unfortunately, these – thoroughly important – principles of the United Nations serve solely to improve the image of the Daimler Group.

The facts:

1. Daimler AG was a leading exporter of military vehicles once again in the year 2016. On the website http://www.mb-military-vehicles.com, the Daimler Group advertises the sale of a broad range of vehicles in the military and armaments area. In this context, I refer to the brochure »Ready for Future Operations,« in which warnings are made of asymmetrical conflicts and new threats (»Symmetric war scenarios have been replaced by asymmetric conflicts and new threats,« page 9).

2. In recent years, the Daimler Board of Management under Zetsche’s leadership has practiced an uninhibited policy of exporting military vehicles even to repressive, autocratic or dictatorial regimes (see the current list of countries in the countermotion from Paul Russmann and the countermotions from the Critical Daimler Shareholders www.kritischeaktionaere.de and www.juergengraesslin.com > Daimler/Airbus).

3. The Daimler management has learnt nothing from the military export disaster of past decades. At the armaments trade fair »International Defence Exhibition and Conference« (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi in February 2017, Daimler – along with numerous armaments companies from all over the world – showed a strong military presence. As in the previous years, also in 2017, Daimler advertised the sale of MB military vehicles (G-Class, Zetros etc.) in several categories (e.g. armored fighting vehicles) at the biggest armaments trade fair in the region. The Mercedes slogan emblazoned above the trade-fair stand – »Ready for Future Operations” – leaves all options open. Suitable for warfare, Daimler offers individually optimized products for special applications to many »defense« customers (»…are individually optimised to the specific mission requirements of any defence customer,« see www.idexuae.ae). With the recent sales of military vehicles, it is guaranteed that the Mercedes star will shine in blood red above the battlefields of the crisis regions and war zones of the Middle East also in the coming years.

4. Mercedes advertises unscrupulously for the sale of military vehicles such as the G-Wagon, which is advertised with the slogan »Combat proven.« What »combat proven« really means is well known due to the research of the RüstungsInformationsBüro (Armaments Information Bureau) (www.rib-ev.de): Mercedes military vehicles can be used to transport tanks (verifiably for example in the Libya war on the side of the dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi), for transporting troops and materials to the front and for transporting corpses of killed combatants and civilians.

5. According to the campaign Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel! (Action Outcry – Stop the Armaments Trade) (www.aufschrei-waffenhandel.de) and the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (German Peace Society – United Opponents of Military Service) (www.dfg-vk.de), more than 150,000 military-version Unimogs have been sold to over 80 armies all over the world. The Unimog recipient countries have so far included Egypt, Algeria, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and many more (see »Schwarzbuch Waffenhandel. Wie Deutschland am Krieg verdient / Black Book Weapons Trade. How Germany Earns from War« published by Heyne-Verlag, pages 294 ff).

6. Anyone who exports MB vehicles to crisis countries knows that they will be used to carry out grave violations of human rights and that people will have to flee from their homes. Anyone who exports military vehicles reaps refugees – exactly that happened dramatically also in 2016.

7. Vis-à-vis the shareholders and the public, the Daimler Board of Management keeps quiet about this dark side of the Mercedes medal. Apparently, these facts are so unpleasant for the civil-military automotive company that they are presented neither in the current annual report nor on the website www.daimler.com. This procedure has nothing to do with the transparency that the Board of Management has committed to. Yet again, the values stated by Daimler – »…transparent and connected…« and »…including fairness, responsibility, mutual respect transparency…« (Annual Report 2016, pages 56 and 137) – degenerate into hollow words. The Board of Management’s credibility is sacrificed to the real export policy of armaments.

Our request:

The actions of anyone – like the Daimler Board of Management – that acts in such an inhuman way will not be ratified by the Critical Shareholders at the Annual Meeting. Please adopt our countermotions and authorize us – the Critical Shareholders* – to cast your votes for you.