Mercedes Assumes Fake Name To Make Off With DHL Streetscooter

AUG 27 2018 BY MARK KANE 39

Deutsche Post DHL tracked down its StreetScooter in Daimler’s lab

Deutsche Post DHL’s all-electric vans, called StreetScooter, are currently the top-selling BEVs in Germany, so it’s not strange that the automotive industry is jealous.

A few months ago, the company held a demonstration event for potential customers, showing the van. According to German newspaper Der Spiegel, Daimler/Mercedes under a fake company name took one of these vehicles outside of trial area… but because all of the vehicles were equipped with GPS, Deutsche Post DHL quickly found the StreetScooter en route to the Stuttgart-based company’s lab. The vehicle was apparently recovered from the factory. Hilarious! And was surely embarrassing for Daimler.

According to the report:

“Last spring Daimler/Mercedes, the world’s number one truckmaker, was caught with its pants down by the Deutsche Post DHL Group. During a testing day organised by DP-DHL, which was presenting its self-developed electric van, the StreetScooter, one of its vehicles being trialled by potential customers went way outside the test drive area, with its GPS showing it was en route to Stuttgart.

What happened? Apparently Daimler/Mercedes – using a fake company name to claim they were a nursing service provider – hijacked the vehicle and took it to their testing lab. But, as Der Spiegel reported, the GPS system betrayed them. DP-DHL went to Stuttgart, knocked on Daimler’s factory door, and took their e-van back.”

Moreover, the article says that Daimler didn’t even apologize for a claimed “a common procedure”. Well, someone should send this news to Elon to add some redundant GPS for Semi trucks, as a heist of Tesla’s Semi might be on the minds of some automakers.

Source: Der Spiegel via

Categories: Daimler, Mercedes

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

39 Comments on "Mercedes Assumes Fake Name To Make Off With DHL Streetscooter"

newest oldest most voted

Industrial espionage caught Dalimer/Mercedes with their hands in the proverbial DHL “cookie jar”.

Maybe Dalimer/Mercedes is going to break into the Nursing Sector, EVs may be their stealth vehicle to avoid detection!

“The best or nothing ” lol

Right, but they didn’t say they were the best, or where it came from.

You don’t watch any TV? Good for you…not missing anything!
That’s the slogan of their tv commercials in SoCal (and probably the rest of US).
After owning 2 benzes for the past 10 years every time i see the commercial i answer “nothing!”.

Didn’t that happen a year ago or even longer? Now you can simply buy them and I’m sure they bought some.

Yeah, it was in March or April last year.
They drove the vehicle to their test track to check out the performance. Must be embarrassing for sure.
How come they used a fake company name and adress, and then give it to Deutche Post that know all about company names and adresses.. . I’m sure somebody at Daimler is laughed at by colleagues after this.

To aquire vehicles from competitors are quite common among car manufacturers. I’ve been to places where some are taken appart, and then assembled again. Larger companies tend to do the work themselves, but some may buy information from special companies that do reverse engineering, estimate parts cost, assembly cost, assembly time, level of automation used and so on.

I’m sure there are a number of this model in pieces at different car manufacturers now.

Embarrassing for whom? I’m sure the company didn’t care. It makes the company look a little bad, but I doubt they were seriously embarrassed.

Those driving it were just doing their jobs, so no particular reason for them to be embarrassed.

It sounds like DHL was on the lookout for this, considering the closely monitored GPS.

Embarrassing for the employee who was given the task to test the EV. I’m sure he/she could have come up with a better plan. Why not just transport test equipment closer to the destination where they picked up the EV?

As for the company, i doubt it matter much for them, but if I was a coworker to the person who made the desicion, I would give them a bit of a hard time for a while 🙂 Just so he/she don’t forget.

Given the privacy laws in Germany, I wonder if someone is going to jail for outing Mercedes’ actions using the GPS tracking device.

GPS tracking of cars are legal. It is highly used to document travel time, distances and so on.
I used a company car that logged all the trips, so I did not have to fill out any forms after a business trip. It was all electronical. They use the same system in Norway, if people prefer to have it installed.
In my current work vehicle I have none, but some work mates have chosen do to it. Makes it easier if you use a company car, as your personal car as well – when it comes to taxes.

When renting a car in Germany this May, Europcar had all vehicles equipped with a tracking device to find stolen vehicles or catch customers who drive into ‘forbidden’ countries like Italy.

was it not mercedes that last rented a couple’s personal EV tearing it down and putting it back together unapologetically?

It was.

Came here to say this, it was also in Germany. They weren’t sorry then either, this is bad business

Now: If that car company would have been Chinese ….

Then it would have been a Chinese company doing it. But no it wasn’t. It was a German company. A German company that holds itself in high regards, unwarranted.

“Unwarranted” is being very kind!

I’m sure there are numerous of these EVs in parts at different car manufacturers over the world. I’ve been to car manufacturers and have seen cars being checked and partially reversed engineered. Even car models not sold in the continent the facility was located. It is very common, and all manufacturers do this. If you look at equipment for 3D scanning and meassuring – the sales have sky rocketed. No matter what product it is, somebody will pull it appart, learn, study, copy it. I was doing some jobs for a Norwegian boat manufacturer, and they had some of their boats copied – and even the sales broschure was partially copied. Another company I worked for made CD players, and in just 3-4 weeks after it was released to market – Chinese copies was being sold. In that time they had reversed engineered the electronics, and started production of that. They had also copied the shape, and had made the plastic injection moulds. It’s bad, but they’re super efficient. Let’s say you have some cash, and want to start to make a product. You can buy a product that does well in tests, and then start to copy it, and… Read more »

Practice is to buy the vehicle and reverse engineer it, not steal it. Or rent it from individuals and violate it like last year.

No way they could have copied it in 3-4 weeks. They must have gotten hold of a pre-production model long before it went to market — or of original blueprints.

This is laughable once again…

Every established automaker reverse engineers just about all cars…

It is so common place automakers talk about it in articles… Ford reverse engimeers every car that the Chinese make to see when they will approach equal quality with the west…

Mercedes and BMW send each other their new cars to reverse engineers free of charge…

“Mercedes and BMW send each other their new cars to reverse engineers free of charge…”

Yo they do not ‼️


Believe it. They are basically having a laugh. Engineering staff goes from one company to the other and back again all the time. How else are they going to move forward.

An article I read said differently…

But most manufacturers have the decency to buy what they reverse engineer. They don’t just make up a fake company name (notably, it was not even a registered shell company), get a vehicle for testing purposes from the manufacturer for free and take off with it, leaving a bogus contact address that also does not exist. In most countries, this is considered fraud, even if they intended to give back the vehicle after testing or paying for it in case it got destroyed. They underestimated their opponent. I mean, who is stupid enough to give a fake adress to a company that has mail delivery as core business and has a database with all adresses in the entire country, and does not even think about GPS tracking in a delivery vehicle… Also, regarding the Ford comment: There are over 500 different models of Chinese EVs alone on the domestic market. I highly doubt that Ford has reverse engineered more than a handfull of those. Reverse engineering a car can easily cost several times the price of the car, and takes considerable man hours. It is done with selected models or direct competitors only, not everyone. Companies buy reports from third… Read more »

There are maybe 500 companies, but they don’t make useful EVs all of them. There are new rules in China to cut down on EV manufacturers (their subsidies) so the real ones will benefit most.
There was an article on the net about it. Like this one:
There are a more comprehensive one, but I don’t have time to Google it.

If Ford reverse engineer Chinese EVs (Which I’m sure is right), it will only be 4-6 cars max. There is no need to find out how the **itty once are made, or how poorly they work and how poor the craftmanship is. I would bet they have a BYD or too for sure. Just like most major manufacturer in the world.

The article I read did not say just EVs it said all cars…

This is not really news. This happened in April 2017, before DHL started to sell the Streetsccoter also to third parties, and the Spiegel article is from last year, too. Now everyone can just buy one, except for businesses that do parcel delivery. I estimate that there are north of 7500 of those on the road already, mostly in Germany for DHL, but also some in Netherlands and Austria. Also, the Streetscooter must be quite good for it’s intended purpose as delivery or light commercial vehicle. It receives the second most bashing of all EVs in German forae and comment sections, right after Tesla, with made up stories from hear-say and what not. Pages and pages why it will never work, is doomed to fail etc., and there are not even shorts involved. Just media and of course the established manufacturers that get hurt the most by this, Daimler and VW. Sure, DHL charges ~40 k € from third parties, but the thing is still lower on TCO than a comparable Diesel. I once read that the production cost is around 15 k€, which seems plausible to me, given a small battery, parts from the shelf and no extras. A… Read more »

Thanks for the extra details.

I’m sure the numbers of EVs coming from Deutche Post/DHL is the reason we get VW E-Crafter and EV vans from Mercedes, Renault and others now, and not in 2 years time.
The inner city/last mile business is huge.

I just hope they make an E-Crafter/Sprinter/Master in aluminium soon, so they can pair it with a huge battery, and still be within the weight restrictions.
.. . not that I have high hopes for that. .

If I won the superball lottery, I would have 3D scanned the panels on a Sprinter (or another electric van), and made a carbon fiber chassis, and then fitted larger batteries.

The e-go sounds cool but a 120km range is not…
Hopefully they would off one with a greater range…
I like the idea of a very simple interior & car that only has cost and tech where there is actual value…

If they can really sell it at 15,000 Euro, I think quite a few people would be willing to accept that it’s truly just a city car.

Dirty thieves.

Mercedes was already renting a Tesla-S and disassembled it completely last year if I remember right.
And Mercedes could not put it back together again and caused a 5-digit Euro repair bill for the owner upon return.

Shameful that a multi-billion $ profit company is unwilling to simply buy 1 unit.

It was a Model X IIRC.

As an engineering student I was working in benchmarking for a German car maker.
We took apart all kinds of cars from various manufacturers. It was good fun.

Large corporations can get away with almost everything. No surprise here…

Well, that’s the LICE industry for you. If they aren’t lying and cheating then they are stealing!
Wipe these jerks out EV world.