Daimler has fallen behind Audi and BMW when it comes to profitability but while it seeks to narrow the gap, it won’t resort to reducing its workforce, according to Daimler’s personnel chief Wilfried Porth. In an interview with Reuters, Porth said that there’s “no reason” to focus just on personnel in raising efficiency. He added that staff costs make up less than a fifth of group expenses.
In 2011, Daimler's Mercedes posted a 9% operating margin. The frontrunners, Audi and BMW, typically sell cars that are priced lower than those of Mercedes.
BMW and Audi haven’t released their full-year 2011 results yet. Daimler has about 271,000 employees around the world. Nearly 168,000 of this figure are based in Germany. But for 2012, Daimler wants to increase this number. Porth said that the increase this year will not be as drastic as in 2011 when it had 14,000 new workers. Daimler pledged to take back the top luxury-car position from BMW after falling in 2011 to third place behind Audi.
In 2011, Mercedes posted brand sales of 1.26 million units. Audi sold 1.3 million while BMW sold 1.38 million cars and SUVs. To outperform its competitors, Mercedes intends to launch 10 new models by 2015, including compacts and the CLS Shooting Brake, a wagon-like variant of the four-door coupe. For this year, Mercedes hopes to beat the record deliveries in 2011 and it seeks faster growth than the predicted pace of 4% for the worldwide auto market on demand for the refurbished B-class compact and a new A-class hatchback.
The main highlight of the how the exterior of the A-Class has been designed are the tightly drawn surfaces and the defined edges. Then there is how the interchange of the convex surfaces and the concave ones result in the sides showing a unique play of light. This gives the A-Class that distinct look. Just behind the cover glass of the headlamp are LEDs and light modules positioned in a way that it gives the indicators and the daytime driving lights that distinguishing flare effect. This flare is in fact the result of the feature line that is placed in the LED modules of the daytime running lamps, headlamp, and bulb sets of its indicators.
While the explanation appears to be simple, this trademark effect ensures that the model gets that energetic look in addition to giving the Mercedes-Benz a new and younger face. Without a doubt, the combination of how the headlamps have been designed plus how the light functions have been set-up reveals that they are a significant part of the design. That said, the A-Class continues to have the standard features on the front section like separate headlamps and the V-shape that is now more pronounced. It even has the radiator grille where the center contains the brand’s star and the double slats on the two sides.
Extra air intakes have been placed on the sides as well. Furthermore, the dropping line that is clearly obvious slowly disintegrates towards the front section. It is in the roof however, with the arcing and tight curve and smooth surfaces, that gives the best example of how dynamic design interacts with outstanding aerodynamics. The profile of the A-Class shows flowing lines that end with the flat edge. There is also the roof spoiler which has a number of functions like providing the roof assemble with the needed structure, giving the vehicle that additional sporty style, and being able to hide all of the model’s aerials.
Meanwhile, one can see a beltline that goes to the rear section to result in a more noticeable wedge-shape. Making the side view even more unique are the crisp lines and the side panels that have been sculpturally moulded. Just on top of the wind and on the front structural edge is a dropping line which slowly arcs to the back.