The finance arm of Mercedes-Benz’s parent, Daimler Financial Services, is to rebrand to Daimler Mobility – one of the most explicit acknowledgement yet of captives’ shift from financiers to transport solutions providers.

The division will be one of three core entities underpinning the German giant’s group structure come 2020. The carmaker will reorganise around the legally independent divisions of Daimler Mobility, Daimler Truck for trucks and buses, and Mercedes-Benz for passenger cars and vans.

“We finance mobility, we insure mobility and with the new name, we are also making a strong statement with respect to the future of mobility. Financial services remain a fundamental element of our business division,” said Bodo Uebber, member of the board with responsibilities for financial services.

The carmaker plans to launch an automated shuttle pilot in an unnamed major Californian city in H2 2019, with the Mobility division as its operator. The project aims to integrate car club Car2go, ride-hailing service MyTaxi and navigator app Moovel.

Daimler is to enter a joint venture with BMW Financial Services under plans to merge the two OEMs’ mobility offering. The merger is subject to competition authorities’ approval in multiple countries, and Daimler did not comment on whether it would be complete before or after the Financial Services unit rebrands to Mobility.

Daimler, which will continue to act as the holding company incorporating the divisions – and the only entity listed on the stock exchange – said the restructuring will allow each unit to enter into partnerships more easily.

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By GlobalData

“With this new structure we will sharpen our focus, increase entrepreneurial responsibility and protect our synergies and economies of scale,” Uebber said.

The company expects one-time costs from the restructuring to run until 2020, totalling a three-digit-million euro figure.

Daimler Financial Services reported a 2% year-on-year increase in new business volumes to €18.3bn (£16.2bn), across 501,000 contracts.

At group level, Daimler reported revenues of €40.8bn, down by €400m year-on-year, next to net profits of €1.8bn, down 38%.