Daimler intends to increase its output of Mercedes-Benz brand automobiles by more than 100% to 2.7 million units by 2020 as part of its efforts to become the biggest luxury vehicle manufacturer in the world, Manager Magazin reported. The German business magazine also said that Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche intends to construct a new facility in China. The company also plans to build another plant in either Mexico or the United States in order to meet the target.
Daimler has vowed to outperform competitors Audi and BMW as the leading automakers of luxury vehicles by 2020. Last year, it sold 1.26 million Mercedes units, around 120,000 short of the BMW brand. Daimler intends to be at par with the volume target with an operating margin of at least 10% in 2020, the German magazine reported, citing sources within the automaker.
The magazine further cited Daimler executives as saying that by 2018 or as early as 2017, a new facility in North America would begin building the next-generation A class with the automaker's strategic partner Nissan.
The automakers disclosed earlier this month that the Nissan factory in Decherd, Tennessee, would manufacture four-cylinder gasoline engines beginning in 2014 to be utilized in Infiniti vehicles and in Mercedes C-class sedans that will be assembled at a Daimler plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
A spokesperson for Mercedes declined to comment, but reiterated the company's 2015 car sales target of 1.6 million.