German automaker Daimler, parent company of the Mercedes-Benz brand, the third largest luxury carmaker in the world has recently announced it would increase it cost-saving plans in a bid to catch up with its more profitable opponents.
The company’s “Fit for Leadership” strategy will enter a new phase, with the automaker mulling cost-cutting and efficiency increases of more than two billion euros – which was the goal from 2012 to 2015, during the primary phase, said chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche. “But what is even more important is that this will help us ready the company for the next 10 and 20 years, so it’s not just about a billion more or less,” commented the manager during a call with analysts as the company had its investor day. He did not provide specific details on how long will the second phase span or when it would be initiated. Zetsche’s quest has been only one – efficiency – since Mercedes was outperformed back in 2011 by Audi to lose the second-biggest luxury automaker position, behind BMW AG.
During the first quarter of the year, Mercedes had an earnings margin across the group – including the smart, AMG and Maybach subsidiaries – of 9.2 percent, just trailing the 9.5 percent and 9.7 percent seen at BMW and Audi, respectively. The firm also saw global sales jump 18 percent during the period, to a total of 459,708 units – below Audi’s 497,073 autos and BMW’s 526,669 vehicles. Daimler recently announced the company was actually ahead of Audi and BMW everywhere except for China, for the first time in ten years.