Daimler Changes 2013 Targets After Weak First Quarter image

As the year began weaker than expected Daimler will present its updated 2013 targets when it will report results for the first quarter at the end of this month.

Although this year so far meant a sluggish start for almost all automakers, Daimler is confident that the second half of 2013 will bring higher earnings relying on its new products, which will be enough to make up for the loss in Europe.

“Many markets were weaker than expected at the beginning of 2013,” said Daimler in the statement ahead of the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Berlin today. “That applies in particular to the markets for cars and commercial vehicles in Europe.”

CEO Dieter Zetsche, whose contract was extended until 2016 instead of 2018 on investors’ concerns about the automaker’s growth strategy, has promised to bring Mercedes back on the first place as the luxury-car sales leader by the end of the decade. Although first quarter earnings are expected to be below those in the fourth quarter, Daimler relies on the updated E-Class and the new CLA four-door compact coupe sedan to increase sales and earnings in the second half.

“The objective for this year is to stay the course, continue our growth and enhance our efficiency,” Zetsche said.