topics
tools
Expatica countries
Index Last Var.(%)
BEL 20 3083.51 0.32
DAX 9605.08 0.17
IBEX 30 10058.5 -1.04
CAC 40 4387.61 -0.20
FTSE 100 6806.86 -0.05
AEX 397.5 -0.20
DJIA 16272.65 0.46
Nasdaq 4318.933 0.63
FTSE MIB 20298.33 -0.11
TSX Composite 14214.35 0.18
ASX 5415.4 -0.10
Hang seng 22836.96 0.04
Straits Times 3110.78 0.45
ISEQ 20 836.3 0.23
EUR / USD 1.37976 0.67
EUR / GBP 0.82571 0.59
USD / GBP 0.598544 -0.10
Gold 1329.6 -0.13
Oil 108.9 -0.76
Silver 21.28 0.08
You are here: Home News German News Daimler aims for luxury crown by 2020
Enlarge font Decrease font Text size


14/01/2013Daimler aims for luxury crown by 2020

Daimler is on track to retake the global luxury crown before the decade's end, chief Dieter Zetsche said Sunday, hoping to lead the German auto giant for at least the next five years.

"We are moving in the right direction and have lots of great products coming," Zetsche said at a press event on the eve of the Detroit auto show.

Zetsche, whose five-year contract ends in December, said he is "having fun" on the job and expects to be asked to remain, adding that the decision is "obviously" up to Daimler's board.

Daimler expects global auto sales to grow by between three and four percent this year and thinks 2014 "will be better than that," he added.

Trouble remains, however, in its home market of Europe.

"The best we could hope for in Europe would be a sideward development, a flat development," Zetsche told reporters after unveiling the new Mercedes CLA.

"Probably it's more likely we'll see a slight decline at least in the first half of the year. The second half of the year might start get better."

Getting Europe back on track won't be easy.

"It's clear that we have to have the confidence in the euro come back, that we have to see the continuation of austerity politics and at the same time the start of growth initiatives which help the consolidation of the public deficit to bring growth back to Europe," Zetsche said.

That's one reason why the booming US market is so key to the company.

"America is our single most important market now," Zetsche said, noting that sales in the United States surpassed Germany for the first time last year after rising 15.4 percent to over 305,000 vehicles.

"We think that is sustainable."

China is also a major focus for Mercedes because it is the only market in the world with more total sales than the United States.

"We think that the general economy, GDP, should probably grow something between seven and eight percent," Zetsche said of China.

"This certainly will fuel another good growth year in the automotive market with the top end premium segment being rather above this growth."

A recent shakeup of the Daimler operations in China has helped the German automaker "set the foundation for a new phase of grow," he said, dismissing rumors that it is looking for a new partner there.

Daimler is also considering China as the next location for manufacturing compact cars like the new CLA, though nothing has yet been decided.

North America is another possible location for a new compact car factory, Zetsche said, explaining that the partnership with Renault-Nissan has lowered the sales volume threshold at which it becomes financially feasible to launch local production.

Asked if Daimler would consider returning production to South America, Zetsche said that while the market is growing, volume in the premium segment remains insufficient to sustain a factory.

"The market is growing. There are more affluent people to buy more expensive cars, so we might come to the point to revisit that decision but there's no decision made by now," he told reporters.



© 2013 AFP


0 reactions to this article

0 reactions to this article

 
 
 
 
 
Inside Expatica
The ABCs of the German school system

The ABCs of the German school system

What you need to know about German schools and daycare.

German immigration and residency regulations

German immigration and residency regulations

Want to move to Germany but haven’t figured out the details? Check out Expatica’s overview of the German permit system.

Driving in Berlin: Rules, habits and fines

Driving in Berlin: Rules, habits and fines

In part one of our two part series, we cover the driving culture in Berlin, where to park and buy gas and, most importantly, the laws.

Looking for work in Germany: The in depth version

Looking for work in Germany: The in depth version

Our comprehensive guide includes information on how to find work, recruitment agencies, employment contracts and labour law.