“CORE and CASE go hand in hand!”
In an interview with Dr. Marcus Schoenenberg, the Daimler Head of Global Procurement Trucks & Buses looks back at the recent IAA Commercial Vehicles and answers why CASE goes hand in hand with CORE and why it is more than just a trend.
Editors: Dr. Schoenenberg — what is your summary, just 6 weeks after the close of the IAA?
Marcus Schoenenberg: Daimler showcased some excellent products, such as the new Actros. It contains 60 innovations that we’re bringing to the streets. For me, one of most important new features is Active Drive Assist. With automatic braking, accelerating and steering, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is putting partially automated driving into production. A great team gave it their all to show attendees our performance ability. We made “Transforming Transportation” tangible. I am very pleased.
What sticks with you?
The impression that we have the best partners in the industry on our side. The many discussions and the conversation with our partners during our Supplier Dialogue evening showed my team and me again that we all understand the challenges of our industry and are ready to tackle them head-on. You could feel an amazing commercial vehicle spirit that evening.
What does this mean in concrete terms about collaboration with your supplier partners?
Working differently in areas where we don’t have decades of experience. We have to deliver results quickly there. In developing our products, in finding the right partner. Basically in every task involved in bringing our vehicles to the street. Since there will be shorter innovation cycles. In those areas, we need faster iteration and feedback loops — and stamina, since CASE topics will require perseverance during consistent development as time goes on.
So CASE is more than just a trend?
Definitely. Connected, Automated, Shared & Services and Electric is not just a sprint. It is the next innovation marathon that will revolutionize the industry.
Sounds a bit terrifying.
Why? CASE is simply the next logical step into the future that our industry will take. The transport industry has always progressed when new infrastructural options have presented themselves. Internet, data transfer, modern computing power and memory capacity form a digital infrastructure which our industry will use for next-level development.
Does this mean CORE, i.e. “classic” truck and bus business, has outlived its purpose?
Absolutely not. CORE and CASE go hand in hand! I also said this to our 300 guests at the Supplier Dialogue on September 20th at the IAA, ‘We still need both — steel and software.’ Because, ultimately, it’s physical vehicles that transport goods. Our suppliers and we at Daimler have 130 years of CORE experience, and we’ve put wheels on one automobile milestone after another. Being able to produce vehicles around the globe in large quantities with top quality will remain an important skill. Nonetheless, CASE will change both our vehicles as well as the associated operating and business models in the long term.
How does that work?
You simply have to keep your eyes open when approaching these issues. And that’s what we are doing at Daimler Trucks & Buses. We are looking at the wants and needs of our customers. Gathering experiences with test customers. Getting feedback. Seeing how it’s going. Then adjusting accordingly, scaling it up. As Trucks & Buses board member Martin Daum said so well at our Supplier Dialogue evening, ultimately, CASE also has to be a “business case.”
So, CORE and CASE equal SUCCESS?
Not everything at Daimler is abbreviated (laughs). But to answer the question, yes, the equation is correct. This is because our strong starting position with CORE — and I mean that both for Daimler as well as the suppliers — makes it possible to invest in future topics. And because we are bringing our current high-volume truck and bus platforms to new markets in order to grow profitably. To China, for example. And at the same time, we are developing new technology platforms for networked, automated and electric driving. That is CASE.
So, as head of procurement, your recommendation: suppliers are in good hands at Daimler if they have an excellent technology concept?
(laughs) I have nothing to add to that.
The editing staff met with Marcus Schoenenberg for the interview in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Germany, in October. Further information: Daimler Supplier Dialogue 2018
About the person
Dr. Marcus Schoenenberg is the Vice President of Global Procurement at Daimler Trucks & Buses. After studying engineering at RWTH Aachen University, he received his doctorate at the University of Stuttgart.
The native Westphalian joined what was at the time Daimler-Benz AG in 1995. After holding positions in Manufacturing Process Engineering for Mercedes-Benz and in Commercial Vehicles Europe, he became Director of Procurement for Powertrain Commercial Vehicles in 2002. A few years later, he started as Director of After-Sales Technics for Passenger Cars. In 2013, he returned to procurement as Vice President of Global Procurement at Daimler Trucks & Buses.