Record sales put Daimler in rivals' wing mirrors
Mercedes-Benz cars are flying off the production line like never before, driving parent company Daimler closer to its goal of overtaking rivals Audi and BMW.
Thanks to sharply increasing car sales, the Stuttgart-based company increased its income by almost 20 percent in comparison with 2014 to €37.5 billion. The after tax profits also rose by eight percent to €2.4 billion.
But despite the unprecedented success, boss Dieter Zetsche was remaining sober.
"We achieved our profit targets for Mercedes in the first half of the year," he said on Thursday. "In all our other automobile businesses we are at the point of reaching our targets."
Daimler have stated that their goal is to overtake BMW and Audi, and with each of these car-makers expected to report low operating margins for the first half of 2015, it seems Daimler have moved into the fast lane.
"Now it's about sustaining this level over the long-term," said Zetsche.
In the second quarter alone Daimler sold half a million cars, helped by the fact that the company has several new models entering the market for the first time.
The company is also making significant inroads into Asian markets.
Whereas its competitors have had the brakes put on sales by the stock market collapse in China, ever more Mercedes are rolling into the streets of the world's largest car market.
In the first half of the year, Daimler increased its sales in China by 20 percent, while rivals Audi and BMW's numbers went into reverse.
But in absolute terms Daimler is still lagging behind the competition. While Audi and BMW sold 274,000 and 230,000 in China respectively, Daimler only sold 165,000.
Nonetheless Zetsche sees his company as being on the right road.
“In China Daimler has every reason to be optimistic,” he said.