Daimler CEO, Dieter Zetsche, wants to see Mercedes-Benz ahead of its rivals, Audi and BMW by 2020. Zetsche’s ambition is to achieve the target during his contract, which currently runs till December 2013 and is expected to extend by three years in February. According to Zetsche, Mercedes-Benz couldn’t cope up with its rivals in China and in the compact car segment. With falling demands in Europe, the leading premium car makers have managed to sustain their growth in the U.S.A. and China. Zetsche is confident that he can bring up the brand to the top spot soon.
Currently, BMW’s market value has increased rapidly up to 45 billion Euros (Rs. 3,22,106 crores) compared to Mercedes-Benz’ 25 billion Euros (Rs. 1,81,295 crores). According to analysts, late entry into hot selling compact SUV segment, its old-school image which keeps away young buyers combined with slow growth of Mercedes-Benz in emerging markets like China and India has resulted in competitors like BMW and Audi taking the lead in the luxury car market. BMW has sold 1.39 million units compared to 1.19 million units for Mercedes-Benz in November 2012.
In order to regain the top spot, Mercedes-Benz is planning a number of initiatives, starting with a refreshed flagship model, S-Class and also the launch of a promising 4-door coupe, the all-new CLA to boost up sales in 2013. Daimler has also promised a massive cost cutting exercise, leading to a saving of 2 billion Euros (Rs. 14,503 crores) for Mercedes-Benz by the end of 2014. According to Daimler, the company may miss its operating profit target this year by 1 billion Euros (Rs. 7,251 crores).
Source – Automotive News