Size still matters, but the quest to be number one is also getting more headlines. Mercedes-Benz is the latest to stake its future on taking the top slot, with CEO Dieter Zetsche aiming to be the world's largest premium maker by 2020. The specific number is 2.7 million vehicles sold that year, which represents an astronomical jump from 2011 sales of 1.26 million vehicles.

To home in on that target, Mercedes intends to build factories in China and in North America – either Mexico or the U.S. – with the North American factory coming online by 2018, according to a report in Auto News. The facility here would build the "next generation A class together with Daimler's strategic partner Nissan."

Mercedes didn't offer any clarification on the Nissan component or what else a new facility might build, nor what the synergies might be with it and the engine deal recently signed between Daimler and Renault-Nissan.

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