Daimler to build new plant in Brazil image

Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars is considering building a production site for compact models in Brazil, seven years after ending first generation A-class production there.

The consideration is due to “sustained stable sales” in the region, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz marketing chief, Philipp Schiemer, is quoted as saying in the daily Handelsblatt.
Last week, Daimler’s chief executive Dieter Zetsche said on-site production in foreign markets is gaining increased importance.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz car unit in 2012 aims to surpass the 1.38m vehicles sold last year and grow faster than the market, helped by the launch of the new A-Class compact car in September and continued brisk sales in emerging markets and North America.

Brazil is a key market for the world’s biggest automakers, including Italy’s Fiat SpA, Germany’s Volkswagen AG and U.S.-based General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co. All have invested heavily in Brazilian factories, but many of them import vehicles made in Mexico to diversify their lineups.

Last week, the German automaker said it booked a bottom-line net profit of 6.029 billion euros ($A7.46 billion) in 2011, a leap of 29 per cent from the previous year. Underlying profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), jumped 20 per cent to 8.755 billion euros.