DETROIT - Juergen Schrempp and Daimler-Benz seem to have completely recovered from the troubles of last autumn when the new A-class tumbled over in the moose test.
In a speech at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit last week, Schrempp even repeated a joke about the A-class that company officials didn't find amusing a month ago.
A customer goes to a showroom and asks to see the new A-class. Says the salesman, 'Sure. It's lying over there.'
Record sales have reassured Schrempp and his executive team that they are on the right path, taking risks and expanding into new markets.
Schrempp recounted years of effort to get Daimler-Benz refocused on what he says it does best, developing cars.
He recapped how the company dealt with the rollover of the A-class during the lane-changing moose test and the delay of the joint-venture Smart minicar.
After his speech, Schrempp said Daimler's experience with the A-class and Smart car have already proven beneficial.
In the public mind, he said, the story of the A-class is that Mercedes had a problem and went to extraordinary lengths to make sure it was fixed right and at no cost to the customer.
Schrempp said he expects Daimler-Benz's revenue to double within 10 years.