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October 21, 2020

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Daimler banking on China gains

Daimler’s Chief Executive said China will remain Mercedes-Benz’s biggest growth market in the next decade and the German carmaker will adjust production locations to capture shifts in demand as global trade tensions continue to rise.

The remarks by Ola Kaellenius come against a backdrop of increasingly strained relations between the United States, China and Europe after almost a decade of growth that has helped Mercedes to emerge as the world’s biggest-selling luxury car brand.

“The situation has become much rougher, with a tendency toward rougher talks, right up to and including trade conflicts,” Kaellenius told the Frankfurt-based ICFW Journalists association on Monday.

“We need to look at our production footprint and where it makes sense, shift our production,” he said during the video call meeting.

“Last year we sold around 700,000 passenger cars in China. The next biggest market is the US with between 320,000 and 330,000 cars.”

Thanks in large part to a strong rebound in demand from China, Daimler and German rival BMW both pre-released forecast-beating third-quarter results. “In the next 10 years we also expect the biggest growth in China,” Kallenius added, explaining that the luxury carmaker will follow the market.

But with global trade tensions on the rise, the outlook for global sales remains uncertain.


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