China: Mercedes pushes sales through dealer network expansion image

The Asian country, the biggest auto market in the world, has seen an unprecedented rise in premium sales, with Mercedes-Benz now expecting to further outpace the segment’s overall growth.

The third largest premium automaker is aiming to recapture the top global position from BMW, also exceeding Audi in the process. So far, it managed to secure the top position last year in the second-largest market – the US – but not the same can be said about China.

Now, the Daimler luxury unit expects growing demand from its latest moves – Mercedes merged two of its sales networks to address internal competition and the introduction of new models, including the key mid-sized C-Class.

“It’s the one significant factor that has enabled us to do far more things, far more quickly,” says Nicholas Speeks, the unit’s China boss. “We’re cognizant of the fact that our competitors are growing also strongly from a much higher base. Therefore, we need to still put our foot on the pedal and gear up.”

In 2013, Mercedes-Benz sold 218,045 cars in China, rising 11% from the 2012 basis. Now, the automaker expects further growth – better than the 17 to 18% predicted for the overall premium segment. Speeks forecasts the brand’s deliveries would climb to at least 250,000 units this year and at least 300,000 in 2015.

Via Automotive News Europe