Daimler’s new China chief Hubertus Troska committed a possibly deadly mistake. According to Germany’s Automobilwoche [sub], Troska and his lieutenant Nicholas Speeks “accuse their Chinese dealers of laziness and incompetence.”
In a letter to all Chinese dealers, Daimler said that “such a low sales volume could be achieved by a call center.” Rainer Gehmen, general manager of the German-Chinese Business Association, called the letter “a catastrophe, especially in China, where keeping face is more important than in Germany.”
Daimler loses market share in the strategically important Chinese market. Daimler lost 11.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013 while BMW and Audi recorded strong gains. Letters like these will not improve the moral of the troops at the sales front.