Another indicator that the Chinese car market is not about to collapse, as projected (hoped?) by some: Daimler is guiding towards robust sales in January. “I hope that we will see double digit gains again in January,” Mercedes sales Chief Joachim Schmidt told Reuters. With the month nearly over, executives won’t “hope” what they don’t already know. And what does that have to do with China?
China is now the third biggest market for Daimler, behind Germany and the United States. Most of Daimler’s growth is made in China. China already is Daimler’s largest market for the S-Class. Daimler expect China to be its largest market altogether by 2015.
And what about Beijing’s new car limits? Schmidt views them as a “small dampener” which “doesn’t carry much weight in a populous country like China.” The canceled incentives for sub 1.6 liter cars also should keep a Daimler unfazed. For a Chery or Geely, they could be more painful.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche is planning for another record year for Daimler. Daimler is capacity constrained; customers have to tolerate long waits for their cars. Daimler is in negotiations with the unions about extra shifts.