Volume is not everything, Daimler CEO says image

Mercedes-Benz is aiming to become the world’s number one luxury brand, but Daimler says it will not sacrifice margins in its quest.

Despite starting the year with a 20 percent sales boost, Mercedes-Benz is not in a hurry to overpass BMW and take the luxury crown. Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche is targeting 2020 as a time frame to become the best-selling premium car brand. And judging by the record sales reported last year when it delivered 1.87 million passenger cars, the German automaker seems to be way ahead of its schedule. However, Zetsche will not push the trend upwards by any means. “The volume lead should be the consequence of having the best offering,” he said. “If we accomplish this, it is a natural consequence that more people will choose us.” One way to boost volume is to sacrifice margins and to create some pricing pressure, but Daimler does not plan to adopt such a strategy, Zetsche told analysts at a conference to discuss fourth-quarter results in Stuttgart.

Furthermore, Mercedes CEO is confident that the Chinese market will continue to further push company’s sales, considering the fact the overall market is expected to grow 8 percent this year. “We do see significantly better chances for us based on our product offerings,” Zetsche said, adding that demand remained high for some new locally made cars, such as the GLC. “We have waiting times which are unhealthy already,” he told analysts, adding that the new E-Class, another volume model, had yet to hit showrooms. Mercedes sales in January were boosted by 52.0 percent to 42,671 vehicles in China, more than ever before.

Via Reuters