Mercedes-Benz Cars Confirms Return-on-Sales Target of 10 Percent


STUTTGART, Germany and BEIJING, May 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — 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 euro 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 euro 2.5 billion to euro 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.

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About Daimler

Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides its customers with a full range of automotive financial services including financing, leasing, insurance and fleet management.

The company’s founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886. As an automotive pioneer, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility. The Group applies innovative and green technologies to produce safe and superior vehicles which fascinate and delight its customers. With the development of alternative drive systems, Daimler is the only vehicle producer investing in hybrid drive, electric motors and fuel-cell systems, with the goal of achieving emission-free mobility in the long term. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment.
Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. Its current brand portfolio includes, in addition to the world’s most valuable automotive brand, Mercedes-Benz, the brands smart, Maybach, Freightliner, Western Star, Fuso, Setra, Orion and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt, New York and Stuttgart (stock exchange symbol DAI). In 2009, the Group sold 1.6 million vehicles and employed a workforce of more than 256,000 people; revenue totaled euro 78.9 billion and EBIT amounted minus euro 1.5 billion.


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Source: Daimler Corporate Communications