Strong Daimler Sales Indicate Healthy Chinese Market

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

More by Bertel Schmitt

Join the conversation
  • Charter Bus Dc Charter Bus Dc on Jan 30, 2011

    Here is Similar Story China is expected to be Daimler AG's biggest market by 2015, and the German automaker promised to increase investment in the country by 3 billion euros ($4.2 billion), said the company head. Dieter Zetsche (left), CEO of Daimler AG, Gou Zhongwen (center), vice-mayor of Beijing, and Ulrich Walker, chairman and CEO of Daimler Northeast Asia, attend the launching ceremony of Mercedes-Benz's largest rotating three-pointed star outside Germany on top of the Daimler Tower in Beijing on Friday.

  • JJ JJ on Jan 30, 2011

    It will get better before it gets worse I suppose. On a side note; I'm really underwhelmed by Merc's new E Class. I can't really think of anything where it bests the fünfer.