According to Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche, Daimler’s strategy of sustainable growth even called for discussions with its rivals, as the company in the past explored the possibility of jointly developing a small car platform with Volkswagen, BMW or Fiat.
Zetsche, who recently has started to rip the fruits of its strategy to take Mercedes-Benz closer to its Audi and BMW rivals, is enjoying now a very good run, as the brand has ascending sales and the whole Group expects record profits for 2014.
“When we were planning the current generation of front-wheel drive vehicles we were entertaining a number of discussions with BMW, with Fiat, with VW to check whether it makes sense to do something together,” Zetsche said on an analyst call.
At the end, he said they concluded that benefits from having a partnership with a rival automaker were very low, so the planned competitor partnership was ultimately abandoned.
“If we were to just continue to do our homework, and not develop more elements going forward, we definitely would fall back,” Zetsche, who will remain as CEO until 2016, explained. “A very significant part of our task is strategic and to see what kind of future challenges will develop and what opportunities we see on the horizon, and try to further develop our business,” added the 60-year old German.
Zetsche actually hinted that broader strategic steps would be the best course of development for the remainder of his mandate, rather than risking more radical steps, as Mercedes-Benz fights to regain the top position among premium automakers.