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November 14, 2007

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Daimler AG to become majority stake holder in new ”Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation”

Vancouver, Canada – With a share of 50.1 percent, Daimler AG is the majority stake holder in “Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation”, a company founded today for fuel cell applications in the automotive sector. With the newly founded company, the globally leading position in automotive fuel cell applications is to be further expanded together with Ford Motor Company and Ballard Power Systems. Ballard Power Systems transfers its automotive division to the new company to be able to concentrate on the marketing of stationary fuel cell applications.

Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Group Research as well as for Development within Mercedes-Benz Cars: “At Daimler, we have identified the future fields of activity and key technologies for zero-emission mobility, and we invest specifically in expanding our competencies in these fields. Our majority stake in “Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation” is the next consequent step in this direction.”

With numerous patents and 150 highly specialized employees, “Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation” is the technology leader in automotive fuel cell stacks. The new company is to be a guarantor for the successful further development of automotive fuel cell technology and will closely cooperate with the research and development departments of the automakers involved.

Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler, Vice President with responsibility for Advanced Vehicle and Powertrain Engineering within Group Research as well as being the Chief Environmental Officer of the Daimler Group:

“The “Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation” will serve as a Think Tank and will orient its activities even more intensively to the specific requirements we make on fuel cell stacks. With the newly founded company, we pursue the aim of strengthen our leading position in fuel cell development and going full steam ahead in our preparations for the large-scale production of fuel cell cars.”  

Daimler takes over the industrial leadership of “Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation” with its 50.1-percent stake. The company will be headed by Dr. Andreas Truckenbrodt, until now Executive Director Hybrid Development of Daimler AG. He worked already for Ballard from 2001 to 2002 and was responsible for fuel cell vehicles at Daimler from 2003 to 2004. With his experience in the field of alternative powertrain he is considered as a declared expert in this area and all the shareholders trust in him.

Ford holds 30 percent of the stakes and Ballard becomes finance investor of “Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation”. In return, Daimler AG will retransfer its total stake in Ballard. Ballard provides its employees of the research and development divisions as well as all the intellectual property and expertise relating to automotive fuel cell applications to the new company.

A pioneer in fuel cell technology, Daimler introduced the world’s first fuel cell vehicle as early as 1994. Today, the company owns the world’s largest fuel cell fleet of all automakers – with over 100 vehicles – and has thus gained the greatest experience in this field. The fleet has covered over 3.7 million kilometers in everyday operation at customers to date. Daimler expects fuel cell vehicles to reach maturity for large-scale production between 2012 and 2015 and will start producing a small series of B-Class F-Cell cars as early as 2010.

The transaction is subject to approval by the supervisory board of Daimler AG.

(Nov. 13, 2007)


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