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. [source: Reuters]