Daimler to cut Mercedes-Benz sales incentives this year

Article by Anita Panait, on February 11, 2014

Daimler is planning to trim sales incentives on Mercedes-Benz vehicles and hike prices of some models as demand for them continues to outpace supply, chief executive Dieter Zetsche has remarked.  Zetsche said that he expects "pricing to improve significantly" in 2014, adding that in every country he visits, dealers were pleading him to provide more of the Mercedes’ compact cars like the new CLA.

Daimler posted a 44-percent surge in deliveries of compact vehicles and a 43-percent hike in sales of the revamped flagship S class in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Daimler expects its operating profit from ongoing operations for 2014 to surpass the EUR7.9 billion ($10.7 billion) posted in 2013. Zetsche has vowed to reclaim the luxury-car sales crown by 2020 after losing it to BMW in 2005 and yielding second place to Audi in 2011.

Mercedes is planning to launch 30 models through 2020, including a dozen that have no predecessor, Zetsche said. Mercedes will roll out in March a new version of the mid-sized C-class sedan and the GLA. Mercedes will also roll out an electric version of the B-class compact in the United States as well as a coupe variant of the S class.

Mercedes posted a 15-percent surge in deliveries in January. The Daimler CEO is also working to turn around its Smart brand by collaborating with Renault to develop new models.  Smart is set to present in 2014 a new version of its two-seater and revive a four-seat model that will be underpinned by the same platform that underpins Renault’s Twingo hatchback.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA is all set to redefine the premium compact SUV segment with its progressive design as well as its versatility and robustness to switch between on-road daily drives and off-road excursions.

New GLA is maneuverable enough to be driven in the city, thanks to its compact dimensions of 4,417 mm in length, 1,804 mm in width and 1,494 mm in height. It is also robust and tough enough to be taken in the country. Moreover, its aerodynamic efficiency – with a coefficient of drag value of 0.29 Cd – allows the new GLA to be as vibrant on the highways. These capabilities are matched by a flexible interior that could comfortably accommodate its occupants, as laden with high-quality appointments.

Interestingly, the new GLA is the first Mercedes SUV that could be equipped with the new generation of the optional permanent all-wheel drive system 4MATIC, with fully variable torque distribution.

The arrival of the new GLA effectively completes Mercedes’ SUV lineup that already includes the G, GL, ML and GLK. In fact, Mercedes has the largest SUV portfolio among European premium carmakers.

Likewise, the new GLA is the fourth of the five new compact models from Mercedes. The German premium carmaker has seen encouraging sales for its compact models. For instance, global deliveries of compact models -- A and B-Class and the new CLA Coupe -- from Mercedes surged 58 percent in the first half of 2013 to 173,362 units. Moreover, the new A-Class posted a high conquest rate in Europe, with around 50 percent of customers in this part of the world used to own other brands.

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