Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche has promised to increase by 50% Mercedes’ sales in China by 2015.
Zetsche announced that he will increase Mercedes-Benz’ sales in China by 50% to 300, 000 vehicles in the following two years, and that two-thirds of the automaker’s vehicles sold in this country in 2015 will be manufactured here.
The German automaker will launch soon an engine facility in Beijing and expand production in China of its long-wheelbase E-class sedan, C-class sedan and GLK SUV. Mercedes will also increase the number of its dealerships, by adding 50 new showrooms annually.
In 2012 Mercedes’ sales in China increased only 2% to 196,211 units, compared with BMW which saw its sales up 37% to 274,958 units and Audi up 30% to 405,800 units. This prompted Daimler to quickly come up with a turnaround plan. Earlier this month Mercedes purchased a 12% stake in BAIC to push growth in China. Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche has promised that by the end of the decade Mercedes will regain the top spot lost in 2005 to BMW.
“Daimler and Beijing Automotive Group will significantly deepen their already strong strategic partnership,” the German group said in a statement. “We will be the first non-Chinese manufacturer to take a stake in a Chinese OEM.”