Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz created a new sales-support unit for China and will increase the number of its dealerships part of its strategy to catch up with rivals.

The marketing, training initiatives and sales in China will be coordinated by Sales Management China, based in Germany. The new sales-support unit will be led by Benjamin Auer, a former sales manager for Audi in China. Mercedes will also open 75 new dealerships by the end of this year, targeting 36 cities the automaker has not reached yet. At the end of last year Mercedes had 260 dealerships in China, while BMW and Audi surpassed 300 each.

“We have taken numerous measures for our Chinese business in the past six months, and we’re keeping our foot on the gas,” Hubertus Troska, who runs Daimler’s China operations, said in the statement.

CEO Dieter Zetsche plans to take back the first place in the luxury-auto industry, which has been lost due to a disjointed strategy in China, by introducing 20 new or upgraded models in the region by 2015. In May, Mercedes’ sales in China have increased 6.5%, but BMW was up 15% and VW jumped 16%.

Source: Bloomberg


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