< PrevNext > 90. Daimler Stuttgart, Germany Share 2018 U.S.-Booked Air Volume: $50.4 millionPrimary U.S. Air Suppliers: Delta, United, AmericanPrimary U.S. Hotel Suppliers: Marriott, Hilton, AccorPrimary U.S. Car Rental Suppliers: National/Enterprise, AvisPrimary U.S. Online Booking Tool: GetTherePrimary Non-U.S. Booking Tools: Cytric, E-Travel ManagementPrimary U.S. Payment Supplier: US BankCard Program: central bill/central payPrimary U.S. Travel Risk Management Supplier: International SOSConsolidated U.S. TMC: BCDDaimler anticipates a substantial cut in U.S.-booked travel spend this year. From 2017's $49.8 million, it rose 1 percent in 2018, but Daimler expects that figure to drop 31 percent to $35 million this year. The company's revenue ticked up slightly from 164.3 billion euros in 2017 to 167.4 billion euros in 2018. Global T&E was 450 million euros in 2018.A third of Daimler's U.S.-booked air spend in 2018 was for domestic travel, and almost half of U.S.-booked air tickets went through approved online tools. For airfare, the company negotiates only on long-haul routes, and HRS handles hotel sourcing. Those 2017 changes are part of the company's proprietary fivestar travel program, which simplifies research, booking and expense to three traveler steps and rolls out globally starting this year. It's live in the U.S., Canada and the company's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. As such, the auto manufacturer aims to negotiate a uniform and simple agency fee system worldwide—it's consolidated globally with BCD Travel—and uniform service-level agreements for all supplier types. Daimler travel policy now allows Airbnb and Uber. For other considerations, the company, which employed 298,000 globally as of the end of 2018, has transitioned from a single global policy to country-specific policies.The company is beefing up with investments in technology. Daimler Trucks and Buses has agreed to buy a majority stake in Torc Robotics to advance automated trucks. Torc will continue its work in its Blacksburg, Va., facility on the Asimov self-driving and testing software. Daimler also has agreed to a 50/50 joint venture with Chinese automotive peer Geely Holding, which also owns Volvo, to build a new generation of Smart electric cars for urban settings in China and begin sales in 2022. The JV is expected to be formed by the end of the year, and the two companies also plan to collaborate on a premium ridehailing service in China. Meanwhile, the company plans to open a second R&D center and a second plant in Beijing.Until 2022, Daimler will continue to build Smart EQ Fortwo cars in Hambach, France, and Smart EQ Forfour cars in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. Meanwhile, the Hambach plant will get a 500 million-euro investment and work on a Mercedes-Benz compact electric vehicle under the new EQ brand. Daimler also has teamed up with BMW to work on automated driving and parking technology while separately pairing up to invest $1 billion in car sharing, ridehailing, parking, vehicle charging and multimodal transport technologies.