An expansion of Mercedes-Benz model offerings will allow luxury car maker to trounce sales growth at rivals and hike operating profit “significantly” in 2014, Daimler AG chief executive Dieter Zetsche remarked at the annual shareholders meeting. He said that Daimler is seeking to gain new customers by entering new segments for Mercedes-Benz.
Zetsche has vowed that the Mercedes will surpass current No. 1 BMW and No. 2 Audi in deliveries by 2020 by introducing 30 new models, a dozen of which having no predecessor. Daimler disclosed in February plans to invest around EUR21.8 billion ($30 billion) for vehicle development and production capacity in the next two years, including at its heavy-truck operations.
BMW took the global luxury car sales crown from Mercedes in 2005. It is currently bidding to protect its lead, eyeing to deliver 2 million vehicles this year. Audi, meanwhile, overtook Mercedes as No. 2 in 2011. It has also outlined plans to surpass BMW by 2020.
Mercedes-Benz posted a 13-percent leap in deliveries in March to 158,523 vehicles, a new monthly record for the brand. Its sales performance was driven by a 78-percent jump in deliveries of its S-Class sedan and a 26-percent surge for compact models.
Mercedes’ GLA sport-utility vehicle also became the fourth model in the segment’s lineup. On the other hand, BMW grew 17 percent in the month to 186,126 deliveries while Audi gained 15 percent to 170,450 sales. All carmakers posted their highest monthly sales figures and are eyeing to log record annual sales in 2014. [source: BusinessWeek]