Mercedes-Benz has managed to once again take over the crown of the biggest premium automaker in the world – and sits atop the game after some 12 years.
While figures from its rivals are not yet final, Mercedes-Benz has managed to deliver no less than 2.08 million passenger cars last year – add in the Smart brand and the figure goes up to 2.23 million. This is an 11 percent increase compared to the previous twelve months, and puts Mercedes in pole position to regain the world crown – with the carmaker expected to surpass BMW as the biggest global premium automaker four years ahead of schedule. The main elements of success are attributed to the break-up in 2007 with Chrysler and the introduction of Gorden Wagener as the main designer. “We had some deficits, cost and quality problems. Design was not top-notch. And with Chrysler we were no longer a pure premium carmaker,” CEO Deiter Zetsche commented in a recent interview. “Since we worked hard and today we are leading or among the leaders when it comes to innovation, quality, design, and security.”
The company’s breaking point could be considered the 2013 reveal of the latest generation S Class flagship – it brought along a completely new design language, both in and out as well as the usual top roster of technology. The youth-oriented approach trickling down to all of its models – E Class, C Class, CLA, as well as the focus on crossovers and SUV, as well as China also represented important elements.