Daimler is looking to invest in new business areas with high growth and profit potential.

Chief executive Dieter Zetsche told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper that new businesses should have a global market potential of EUR1bn, and that Daimler would initially invest at least EUR100m to enter the market.

The new business should expand existing sectors and be technology-related. They should deliver annual growth of at least 10%, and eventually a return on sales of 10%.

Examples of possible new businesses cited by Zetsche include the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, electric motors or turbochargers. Other ideas include a premium leasing and service company or an innovative mobility system.

Zetsche has set up a new group of senior executives called the ‘business innovation’ group to evaluate opportunities.

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The new strategy is a response to the fall in Daimler’s share price since its split from Chrysler. At the same time the automaker has high levels of cash reserves that need to be invested. Daimler recently reacquired a stake in Tognum, a manufacturer of large diesel engines for ships, off-highway equipment and decentralised energy systems.