MUNICH (Bloomberg) -- Daimler has extended the contract of Hubertus Troska, its China boss, by five years as the manufacturer pushes for sales growth in the country to boost its global industry ranking.
Troska, 54, will remain with Daimler through 2020, the company said in a statement.
Troska "is successfully promoting our business activities in China," Supervisory Board Chairman Manfred Bischoff and CEO Dieter Zetsche said in the statement. Thanks to Troska's "dedication and expertise, Daimler is building up its position sustainably in the world's largest growth market," the company added. Troska oversees Mercedes-Benz's car and truck operations in China.
Diminishing Mercedes' delivery gap in China versus rivals BMW and Audi is central to Zetsche's target for the brand to regain the top spot in global luxury-car sales by the end of the decade.
Troska, who started running the Chinese business in late 2012, has overseen an expansion that has the country poised to overtake the U.S. this year as the biggest market for Mercedes.
Troska's work in China has focused on combining separate Mercedes sales organizations for imported and locally built cars, an arrangement that had hampered expansion and hurt auto prices.
The effort resulted in a 29 percent surge in Mercedes deliveries in China last year, pushing the country ahead of Germany in deliveries for the brand. Mercedes has a target of increasing Chinese sales by at least 10 percent this year to more than 300,000 cars from less than 282,000 in 2014.
To create vehicles that more closely match customer preferences, Daimler is building up its development workforce to a total of about 500 engineers and designers in China by the end of the year. The manufacturer also has midterm plans for local production to supply two-thirds of the vehicles it sells in the country.
BMW's namesake brand has been the world's biggest maker of luxury cars since 2005, when the company passed Mercedes in deliveries. Audi has been the global No. 2 since 2011. In China, Audi ranks first in premium auto sales and BMW is second.
Troska is one of eight members of Daimler's management board, which is led by Zetsche. The company added a seat in January when Ola Kaellenius, the head of Mercedes sales, was promoted to the board last month.