The buyout talk was apropos because some reports say that closely held Uber's market value may equal or even exceed Daimler's. Uber operates in almost 500 cities, though reportedly has never been profitable. Kalanick said that while the company makes money in developed countries, it's "massively unprofitable" in developing nations.
As for the fleet acquisition, reports surfaced in March that Uber bought 100,000 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans from the automaker. That big buy would've been worth about $8 billion.
Meanwhile, Daimler has steadily been broadening its exposure to the alternative mobility field where Uber reigns. In April, Daimler formed a US division of its Moovel mobility-services unit by acquiring Austin, Texas-based ride-sourcing company RideScout and Portland, Oregon-based mobile-ticketing service GlobeSherpa. Moovel North America is also developing software called RideTap, which makes it easier to find the closest available transportation option at a particular moment.
Additionally, Daimler owns the car-sharing company Car2Go. Last week, that division said it had added 78,000 customers just two month after launching its first China operations in Chongqing.