February 21, 2014 at 6:20 am

Daimler CEO Zetsche's pay increased after record vehicle deliveries

Daimler AG increased Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche’s pay 1.2 percent after the third-biggest maker of luxury cars reduced the sales gap to larger competitors last year with record deliveries.

Zetsche’s compensation for 2013 rose to 8.25 million euros ($11.3 million) from 8.15 million euros a year earlier, the Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz cars said Friday in its annual report. Combined pay for Daimler’s management board rose 11 percent as the manufacturer added Hubertus Troska, head of Chinese operations, as a member.

Deliveries at Mercedes-Benz, which ranks behind Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit in global luxury- vehicle deliveries, advanced faster in the final months of 2013 than at Ingolstadt, Germany-based Audi. The Daimler unit also posted a higher full-year sales growth rate than Munich-based BMW for the first time since 2010.

Zetsche’s remuneration comprises a base salary of 2.01 million euros, unchanged from last year, a short-term bonus of 1.71 million euros, a medium-term bonus of that amount, depending on share performance and payable in 2015, and long-term variable compensation including stock options. The short-term bonus for the eight-member board was raised to 6.07 million euros from 4.65 million euros a year earlier.

Earnings before interest and taxes, part of the basis for executives’ bonuses, jumped 23 percent last year to 10.8 billion euros, helped by the sale of Daimler’s remaining 7.4 percent stake in EADS, the planemaker now called Airbus Group NV. Daimler, also the world’s biggest truckmaker, is forecasting that vehicle sales in 2014 will exceed last year’s deliveries, while revenue and earnings will jump “significantly.”

After Andreas Renschler’s departure last month as head of production for Mercedes-Benz, the group management board was reduced to seven members. Renschler’s successor, Markus Schaefer, has a seat on the divisional board of Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz passenger-car brand.

Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber, whose contract was extended this week by five years until the end of 2019, earned 3.54 million euros in 2013, unchanged from the year earlier.

Wolfgang Bernhard, who took over as trucks chief in a job swap with Renschler in April, got 3.03 million euros, a decrease of 0.7 percent. Troska also received 3.03 million euros in his first full year of running Daimler’s Chinese business.

Management board pay totaled 30.2 million euros. Excluding Troska’s compensation, remuneration increased 0.1 percent.

Profitability at the Mercedes-Benz Cars division, which includes the Smart city-car brand, lags behind figures at BMW and Audi. Mercedes’s return on sales narrowed to 6.2 percent in 2013 from 7.1 percent in 2012. That compares with nine-month operating margins of 10.1 percent of revenue at Audi’s carmaking unit and 9.5 percent at BMW’s automotive division. The two competitors have yet to report full-year earnings.