It might sound incredible, but Mercedes-Benz hasn’t been the top dog in terms of global and US luxury sales in a good roster of years – but the struggle might end this year.
The German automaker is confident now it will regain global leadership of the luxury market at the end of the year – four years prior to its goal set for 2020 – ending 2016 also as the most profitable builder of upscale cars. More so, the make seems well positioned – if we judge according to the past 11 months – to also capture the lead in the crucial US market, which still trumps China in terms of luxury sales. Mercedes’ return as the top dog in the neighborhood was a key motif for Dieter Zetsche’s leadership: “We will achieve it this year, four years ahead of time,” stated the top executive during an economic conference in Frankfurt.
The man at the helm of Daimler laid out his goal back in 2011 and the strategists weren’t overly confident in his abilities to play out the plan. The crucial ploy was the brand’s ability to overcome the issues faced across the wide Chinese automotive market, the world’s fastest-growing luxury market, as well as being at the top of the fight in the United States each year. In America, Mercedes narrowly lost the fight to BMW in the final weeks of December and the Germans were just ahead of Lexus. Now the Mercedes brand is becoming the king of the hill, followed by the Japanese and with BMW dropping to third.