Daimler AG aims to boost sales at the company's Mercedes-Benz car division to 1.5 million vehicles by 2015 from just over 1 million in 2009, helped by an expansion of the automaker's small-car lineup. He says his goal of reaching a 10 percent operating margin in 2010 is delayed but still reachable. Daimler and Mercedes CEO Zetsche spoke with Automobilwoche> Staff Reporter Matthias Krust during a media event in Abu Dhabi.
Daimler's Zetsche keeps ambitious targets for Mercedes
Our customers expect the brand to lead in the areas of sophistication, quality and safety. Mercedes also should radiate a fascination with winning designs. Another aspect is social responsibility, which includes protecting the environment. We also want to be the No.1 in emissions-free driving.
We want to reach sales of 1.5 million vehicles in 2015. Today, we are the largest premium brand in our customary segments from the S class to the C class in terms of volume. We plan to grow with the next generations of the A class and B class. Everything is being underlain with new technologies, which will make massive reductions in CO2 emissions. The prospects for alternative drivetrains are on top of that. They will secure us a leadership position in that area as well.
The goal of a 10 percent still stands. But it must be said that we have to rework our path there after the massive sales decline of 2009 and our high investments in CO2 reduction. We are making great progress here, but we still need more time.
In general, we expect only a moderate market recovery for cars. For Mercedes, we assume we can increase volumes compared to 2009. In addition, we have developed a competitive cost position. As far as profitability goes, we achieved an EBIT of 355 million euros, an entirely acceptable result, in the third quarter. Now is the time to take up the momentum of the most recent quarters.