Will Mercedes-Benz reach the top once again?
Mercedes-Benz was previously the number one luxury brand worldwide. In recent years they have been put into the shadow by German rivals BMW and the fast improving Audi.
Dieter Zetche, the Chairman of Daimler is clearly unhappy at the company’s standings. He believes that they should be number one ahead of the rest. He stated that Mercedes-Benz have implemented a strategy which will propel them to the number one spot by 2020, selling 2.7 million vehicles in the process. Those sales would also mean profit, giving back a 10 per cent return for Daimler’s shareholders. Not only that, he expects Mercedes to once again regain their faultless image of the past.
It will not be easy in any sense be easy however. Mercedes-Benz worldwide managed to sell 1.26 million last year. Audi just beat them to second place, selling a total of 1.3 million. BMW were the undisputed leaders at the top selling 1.66 million around the world.
From January to September, Mercedes-Benz has sold 964,000 which represent an increase of 5 per cent when comparing the same period in 2011. Although the figures are positive, executives are concerned and claim that those figures are simply not good enough.
The Euro Zone crisis has finally claimed the luxury brands as victims. The worrying fact is that it will have an even more damaging effect next year. The Chinese car market, the biggest in the world is also suffering a major slowdown.
Mr Zetsche spoke out saying that he is very prepared for the battle ahead. ”It’s obvious that whatever we said in the past as far as guidance is concerned, we always said, and explicitly, in a given environment as far as GDP is concerned, as far as market developments are concerned, as far as exchange rats are concerned, and so on. It was always qualified in that sense. These parameters in recent times have not improved. Therefore, what’s lying ahead of us is becoming more challenging.”
Many do not agree with Mr Zetsche’s sentiments however. Although blaming the market conditions is one way of cushioning the blow, BMW are still riding high and Audi are showing remarkable growth figures month after month.
How will the Mercedes-Benz cope across the worldwide car market?