Daimler AG sees further growth opportunities for Mercedes-Benz Cars in terms of unit sales, revenue and earnings in the coming years. Daimler has set itself the goal of delivering sustainable profits from operating activities at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Meeting with investors and analysts in Beijing, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, stated: “From today’s perspective, assuming there is no further downturn of the world economy, we expect Mercedes-Benz Cars to achieve its targeted return on sales of 10 percent in the second half of 2012 and to maintain it as of full-year 2013.”

The Chairman of the Board of Management sees the positive business development of Mercedes-Benz Cars in recent months as the result of the sustainable progress made with the “Gofor10” efficiency program, the strong product portfolio and the good momentum of the brand with the three-pointed star. Another factor is that Daimler did its strategic homework during the financial and economic crisis, laying the foundations for future success.

These efforts will also be reflected by the results of the second quarter of 2010. Zetsche: “From today’s perspective, we expect Mercedes-Benz Cars’ EBIT in the second quarter of this year to be higher than in the first quarter.” The division’s EBIT for the first quarter of 2010 amounted to €806 million.

In April 2010, Mercedes-Benz Cars already sold 12 percent more vehicles than in the same month of last year, and further substantial growth is also indicated for May and June. There are additional significant advantages in the second quarter from better pricing, a better product mix and the optimized cost structure. Return on sales in the second quarter could therefore also be higher than the first quarter’s seven percent. Mercedes-Benz Cars’ second-quarter production output of well over 300,000 vehicles will be close to the volumes achieved before the start of the financial and economic crisis.

According to Zetsche, the half-year results cannot be annualized for full-year 2010 because in the second half of this year, Mercedes-Benz Cars will spend more on CO2-related research and development and will have higher capital expenditure for new vehicle models, with a corresponding impact on earnings. “Nonetheless, I can say that Mercedes-Benz Cars’ EBIT for the year 2010 will be at the upper end of our forecast of €2.5 billion to €3 billion,” stated Zetsche in Beijing.

Zetsche believes China is increasingly becoming the center of gravity of the automotive industry. “China is becoming more and more important also for Daimler. This year, China has already become Mercedes-Benz Cars’ third-largest sales market after Germany and the United States.” The division anticipates sales of more than 100,000 vehicles in China this year (2009: 67,000). China is already the biggest market worldwide for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and R-Class model series.

Due to the increasing importance of the Chinese market, Daimler has now for the first time organized a company event for investors and analysts in Beijing.

Source: Daimler AG