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Originally Published: February 07, 2013 12:01 AM
Modified: February 07, 2013 7:36 AM
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC

Zetsche: If Winterkorn can do it, so can I

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Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.

Dieter Zetsche plans to keep both his jobs, despite the very different and difficult challenges facing the Daimler and Mercedes businesses.

"If you look at the job I have, it is not that different from what others in this industry are doing, whether it be Martin Winterkorn, Carlos Ghosn or Sergio Marchionne," Zetsche said during Daimler's annual press conference today.

As chairman of Daimler, he has to worry about a major slowdown in van sales as well as reviving his money-losing bus division. As head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, his challenges include making the Mercedes brand a legitimate competitor against BMW and Audi in China while also overseeing a costly, time-consuming product offensive that by 2020 will result in 13 vehicles for niches where the automaker doesn't currently compete.

Said Zetsche: "I am quite happy with my two hats. I think it benefits the company to have such a close link between Daimler Group and Mercedes-Benz Cars."

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