As Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche works for Mercedes-Benz to get back the title of world's biggest luxury carmaker, its investors have valued the brand’s cars unit at half of BMW’s value. BMW’s market capitalization has increased to 45 billion euros ($58.8 billion) compared with 42.2 billion for Daimler.
When subtracting a reasonable price for Daimler's truck business (which is the biggest in the world), the value attached to Mercedes passenger cars by investors is around 25 billion euros. Hans-Peter Wodniok, an analyst with Fairesearch in Kronberg, Germany, said that the market believes that Mercedes’ prospects are much worse than those for BMW. He added that the market is “always right” and that BMW leads when it comes to innovation.
The Mercedes marque has been held back by the slow growth in China, slow expansion into popular segments such as compact sport-utility vehicles, and its failure to attract a big portion of the younger generation of drivers. These enabled BMW and Audi to increase their sales lead in the luxury category.
The gap grows bigger one year after Zetsche, whose existing contract is expected to expire at the end of 2013, pledged to nearly double deliveries to 2.6 million vehicles by the end of the decade and get back the top spot, which Mercedes gave up in 2005.
Its campaign has had a difficult start. Zetsche put off Mercedes’ profit target in October, placing this goal at least four years behind its original schedule. After earnings fell in 2012, Mercedes implemented a drive to reduce costs by 2 billion euros by 2014 under a program named "Fit for Leadership." BMW’s rise has changed the usual order among German automakers. Daimler, which made an attempt to take over BMW in 1960, had a market capitalization that’s 15.5 billion euros higher than that of BMW only a couple of years ago.
Mercedes-Benz GLK showcases its on-road and off-road capabilities following its April 2012 worldwide premiere. This new model tops the segment of compact SUVs as it sports a new design and highlights cutting-edge assistance systems, excellent engine efficiency combined with agility, protracted appointment and equipment range.
Its new exterior design gives it a more dynamic look and the car’s body highlights a combination of classic terrain vehicle elements and modern design language of some of the brand’s latest models. It also features unrestrained surfaces, stringent contours as well as slick, capacious rear and front areas that harmonize with the car’s hallmark body attributes known to classic and functional vehicles that are flexible enough for all types of terrain.
Aside from its off-road terrain benefits, GLK’s design offer as well concrete advantages for daily use. Its seats for instance are positioned higher to provide an impressive view of the road and traffic situations. Its body lines are also designed to give the car a dashing visibility.
This model also features a total dashboard makeover which includes an option of either a wider aluminum or wood trim. The round vents along with other additional trim elements also come in silver shadow to make it more eye-catching. Its instrument cluster may also be requested in a high-class color display.
This all-new GLK also debuts first time features like the sport three-spoke steering wheel. The car’s upholstery now comes in new colors and designs complemented with an ambient LED fiber-optic technology for its lighting. These new features bring the car’s cabin atmosphere to a whole new level.