Daimler AG has merged two of its Mercedes-Benz sales units in China into a single company, called Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co.
The move is part of Daimler’s plans to increase car deliveries by a third in the world’s largest market by 2015. The new unit, which is a 50:50 joint venture between Daimler and its strategic partner Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC), will oversee distribution for the brand in China. Until now, Mercedes-Benz had separate units coordinating imported vehicles and China made cars.
“With the establishment of the new sales company, we are now increasing the effectiveness of our sales organization and setting a course for long-term and sustainable growth,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche.
The merger is a response to slow growth in China, the world’s largest car market. Deliveries rose 4.2 percent this year through November, compared to a growth of more than 30 percent at BMW and Audi. Daimler last week appointed Hubertus Troska to a new management-board position to oversee China expansion.
The world’s third-larger luxury car maker is targeting China sales of 300,000 cars a year by 2015, up from 223,000 in 2011. In order to achieve this goal, the carmaker will launch 20 new and refreshed models over the next three years. Mercedes-Benz also plans to add 50 dealerships annually in China.