While almost every major competitor is experiencing numerous problems in China these days, a board member of Daimler – the parent company of Mercedes-Benz – has confidence in the prospects of the brand.
The executive talked to a German online magazine, telling them the automaker had confidence Mercedes-Benz will deliver a positive result during the second half of the year in China, even though rivals are bracing for trouble. “There may be some short-term volatility,” commented Ola Kaellenius, board member for Mercedes-Benz Cars sales, for investor magazine Boerse Online. “But our attractive brand, strong portfolio and expansion of our dealer network all point to a good second half of the year.” He added that even as the stock market downturn ravaged consumer confidence in China, they hoped to keep discounts and incentives at stable levels. Volkswagen’s Audi – the top selling luxury brand in China – said on Wednesday it had decided to call for a new chief of Chinese operations starting next year as the company struggles to recoup from accelerating sales losses.
In terms of related business subjects, Kaellenius said that given Russia’s even tougher downturn, Mercedes was under no pressure to decide if it would start construction on a new factory in St. Petersburg. He also added that after a nuclear agreement was reached between western powers and Iran, the country presented itself as a great business opportunity for both Daimler’s cars and trucks. Still, he emphasized, it was way too early to establish any sales targets for the world’s third largest luxury brand.