Mercedes-Benz Cars: target record 1.35 million units for 2011
Introducing new premium compact cars in U.S., producing them in China by Beijing Benz as well
Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler's passenger car division, sold a record-high quantity of 1,108,538 units from January through October 2011 (up 6.9% from the previous year), and predicts a new record-high unit sales of 1.35 million vehicles in the global markets for the full 2011. Daimler sees growth opportunities for Mercedes-Benz Cars in the coming years in North America, BRICs (especially China), and South Korea.
Daimler has developed premium compact cars (successor models to A-/B-Class) to arm itself for more stringent regulations on fuel economy in Europe and the United States and the resulting market trends toward downsized vehicles and engines. The company will invest a total of 1.4 billion euros to install new model manufacturing facilities in the Rastatt plant in Germany and a new plant being constructed in Hungary. The new models will be introduced in the U.S. market (first front-wheel drive vehicles sold under the Mercedes-Benz brand in the U.S. market). The vehicles will be produced also in China by Beijing Benz. Daimler plans to nearly double the sales quantity of the successor models to A-/B-Class from 220,000 units in 2010 to over 400,000 units in a mid-range prediction.
Daimler is pressed for a significant reduction of the CO2 emissions and improvement of fuel economy in European and American markets. Under the pressure, Daimler renewed its four-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines in 2009 and 2010 with 24% improvement in fuel economy of the V6/V8 direct-injection engines. The company is also making special efforts to improve fuel economy including the use of the four-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged engine in the C-Class cars, refreshed substantially in 2011, for the U.S. market.
Daimler is also increasing its production capacities. The company announced it will invest US$2.4 billion in the Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama, U.S., for new model development and facility expansion. In addition to the three CUV models in the current production list, Daimler will add coupes based on the next C-Class and M-Class models in 2014 to 2015.
In China, Daimler will invest 2 billion euros in Beijing Benz to produce the GLK, a compact SUV, and three successors to the A-/B-Class cars in addition to the C-/E-Class cars currently in production. Daimler also announced plans to build a new engine plant in China and start production of four-cylinder engines in 2013.