Mercedes-Benz looking to overtake BMW, Audi image

Luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz plans to reclaim its status as the world’s best-selling luxury brand, according to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche.

The three-pointed star brand is behind BMW in luxury sales in the U.S. and lags behind BMW and Audi in worlwide sales. Even though Mercedes-Benz is not growing as fast as BMW and Audi, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says the brand’s objective is unchanged. “Our goal is to be No. 1 in profitability and sales in the premium segment,” Zetsche told Automotive News last month.

Mercedes’ year-to-date sales were up 7 percent worldwide through September, compared with 17 percent at BMW and 17.4 percent at Audi. Zetsche believes the design should appeal more to younger buyers, calling for a lighter, more open, contemporary look for Mercedes cars.

The luxury brand plans to introduce at least 10 new vehicles by 2020, including smaller vehicles and front-wheel-drive cars. However, Mercedes faces a number of challenges on its climb back to the top, according to Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends at

“German brands are not a slam-dunk anymore. Younger buyers tend to look more at distinctive design and are influenced more by performance, and those have not been Mercedes’ strengths,” Toprak was quoted as saying by the Detroit News.