Daimler will add a new member to its management board, who will be responsible for the company’s Chinese car business.
According to a report published by a German magazine, Daimler will add an eighth executive board seat at the next supervisory board meeting. Sooner or later Daimler has to name a top executive in charge for the automaker’s troublesome operations in China, where Mercedes is way behind rivals BMW and Audi.
News weekly Der Spiegel also said that when asked about the report Daimler’s spokesman only said “We do not comment on speculation.” Despite steady sales growth in China, Mercedes has been losing ground to BMW and Audi for several years now. Chief executive Dieter Zetsche announced earlier this year that the company’s target by 2020 is to sell more vehicles worldwide than Audi and BMW, avoiding to increase the automaker’s position in China.
The newspaper said that Daimler’s troublesome Chinese car business was due to the fact that the automaker’s two separate distribution networks in the country didn’t manage to work together. One network sells vehicles from a German-Chinese JV, while the other sells cars imported from Germany. Last year Daimler reported a profit of 11.1 billion euro in China sales, an increase of 22% from 2010.