Daimler CEO says Mercedes-Benz may not grab US luxury sales crown

Article by Anita Panait, on July 15, 2013

As early as this time of the year, Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche is admitting that Mercedes-Benz may not be able to become the best-selling luxury brand in the United States. Zetsche remarked that he does not think that Mercedes would be No. 1 at the end of 2013, adding “that’s ok.” He said they “won’t play any games.”

Zetsche CEO was in Canada for the North American introduction of the revamped S-class sedan. At the end of the first half of 2013, Mercedes is still leading the US sales race by 1,519 vehicles against main rival BMW, the best-selling luxury car in the past two years.

Mercedes posted a 10-percent gain in sales in the US in the first half of 2013 to 141,950. BMW, on the other hand, posted an 11-percent surge in the period to 140,431. The figures don’t include Daimler’s cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand, since they are not luxury vehicles.

BMW managed to capture the top spot in 2012 after posting a huge December increase in sales. In terms of vehicle registrations, Mercedes won against BMW in 2012, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co. Zetsche is aiming to have Mercedes to surpass both BMW and Audi in global sales and profit by 2020.

In the first quarter of 2013, Mercedes has an operating profit that was 3.3 percent of sales, compared with 11.1 percent for Audi and 9.9 percent for BMW.

The Mercedes-Benz is a model that is immediately recognizable by almost everyone around the world. Its classic look is like a golden thread which weaves through its illustrious history. For the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the radiator grille was made larger while putting it in a more upright position and using a rather unique 3D design. Given how the brand always likes to take the top spot, this change in the grille was done to highlight this model’s effortless superiority.

The combination of a rear section which slants ever so gently and the long bonnet plus the domed roof line means that this new S-Class has proportions similar to the classic saloon. Further, both the space and the size were crafted in a manner so as to give the new S-Class more prestige. However, by having a powerful roof line, it allowed this model to maintain its objective of showing that sporty coupe-style.

Looking at the exterior, one can see the signature “Dropping Line” of Mercedes which is a character line that starts at the front before discreetly descending to the rear. This character line is able to gracefully structure the vehicle’s side wall allowing it to get that extra dynamism even if the car is not in motion. The line also creates on the whole side a convex-concave effect, albeit subtly.

Because of this, the entire side reveals a body that is elongated and supremely powerful, allowing it to showcase not only excitement but even calm. By making the shoulder that is on top of the rear wheel even more prominent, it highlights further the athletic quality of the S-Class. Design Chief Gorden Wagener shares that the S-Class having such a sophisticated design is not a surprise as this range has always been the best example when it comes to luxury as well as automotive greatness. This new S-Class follows that very same tradition.

Wagener shares that the combination of the flowing silhouette and classic architecture make this model a contemporary epitome of sensual clarity. He says further that the design shows intelligence which speaks to the emotions as the design manages to draw the line from the classic elegance that was present in its 1930s models and all the way to the progressive and classy design language.

Wagener adds that the excellent mix of sensual forms and stylish athleticism combined with effortless superiority and timeless clarity result in the S-Class becoming a genuine design icon.

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