While Audi stalks BMW for the luxury sales crown and scepter, the fortunes of Mercedes-Benz are a little more mixed as CEO Dieter Zetsche gets the three-pointed house in order. The latest snafu, according to a report by Reuters, is that Benz's Sindelfingen plant, the largest in its production family, will be cutting production due to softening sales in Europe and China. Daimler has already come out denying that the cuts will happen.

Sindelfingen builds the C-Class sedan, S-Class, E-Class, CL-Class, CLS-Class, SLS AMG Coupe and Roadster, and recently ceased building Maybachs – and the rationing of production is reported to affect all lines. The S-Class is said to be "doing especially badly," Mercedes sales in China trail Audi by 23 percent and BMW by 35 percent, Daimler has issued a profit warning for M-B and Zetsche has cited an ongoing "challenging environment" in Europe. The result is the implementation of a cost-cutting program aimed at saving €1 billion ($1.295B U.S.) and strained worker relations at Sindelfingen, but no layoffs, which is the kind of little victory that almost calls for celebration in this economic climate.


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  • 17 Comments
      Carac
      • 2 Years Ago
      Automakers have been betting WAY too hard on China as the answer to all their problems. Looks like it's starting to bite back.
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Question. How is that brainless moustache Dieter STILL at DB after the Chrysler debacle, the loss of MB's quality reputation and its continuous sales slide? He is responsible for the wide open door that allowed BWM and Audi to gain such substantial market share at MBs expense. He should have been tossed out a long time ago.
        Mercer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        That's because on paper, he made a lot of money for the company.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        [blocked]
        sjmoo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        He is still there because you don't know what you are talking about. The man you mean to be angry at is Jurgen Schrempp, NOT Zetsche. Schrempp was the brainchild of the Daimler-Chrysler merger, Schrempp was the man at the helm when MB quality tanked, Schrempp was the man he ran Chrysler into the ground, Schrempp was the man who nearly bankrupted the Mercedes brand because of the HUGE number of warranty claims. Zetsche, on the other hand, was the man who gave Chrysler a fighting chance. He was the brainchild behind the 300/Charger, he made the M-Class/Grand Cherokee platform share work and wanted the Viper/SLS share to work as well. Nevertheless, Cerberus came in and undid most of that work. Furthermore, Zetsche has almost single-handedly righted the ship at MB. When he came in as CEO in 2006 the MB brand was one of the worst rated in the industry for reliability. 6.5 years later it is the HIGHEST ranked German brand in that area and its key models (E-Class & S-Class) actually equal Lexus for long-term dependability. Zetsche is still CEO because he has done a damn fine job. Audi and BMW were going to surpass MB anyway. Both are willing to sell cars at invoice or lower just to move product, the fact that MB sales are nearly equal despite that fact is nothing short of amazing.
          sjmoo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @sjmoo
          @Apex, I guess I got a little carried away with my rhetoric. I didn't mean to imply that the 300/Charger wasn't initially a Chrysler idea. They did, after all, do almost ALL of the design and engineering work for it and don't get nearly enough credit for it. What I meant to say was that Zetsche was the only real champion for the project at Daimler. When Schrempp wanted to give nothing to Chrysler, Zetsche lobbied hard to allow Benz hardware into the car. He was only successful in getting W210 hardware (not the W211 equipment Gale wanted), but it was a big victory at the time.
          Merc1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @sjmoo
          Thank you so much for that post because SCR is about as clueless as they come. M
          Apex
          • 2 Years Ago
          @sjmoo
          Schrempp was the problem for sure, however Zetche was not the brainchild of the 300/Charger, Tom Gale was, and he pushed for the E-class mechanicals. Daimler always pushed back on giving Chrysler anything bennifical, that is why the Crossfire was based on the outgoing SLK platform vs. the new one MB was working on. I wouldn't give Zetche too much credit at his time at Chrysler, however at MB he did get things done. Personally, I am not an MB fan, and prefer other vehciles in every segment MB has to offer.
      ishmaelcrowley
      • 2 Years Ago
      My favorite picture of Dieter Zetsche is when he's looking over the new Dodge Dart and thinking, "How the **** did you pull this off. I thought we left Chrysler for dead."
      Gummybear77
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mercedes styling needs a serious update if they want to be competitive. The Audi (especially the A5/S5) is stunning.
      Love Great Danes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of course they will deny any information that is not good, they are Daimler. Everything at Daimler is unicorn farts
      BB79826
      • 2 Years Ago
      I do like how the C-class looks, but Mercedes is being outsold by BMW and Audi because they're more fun to drive and get better fuel economy. Well, most premium buyers don't care about that last part, but it is true. Plus, don't BMW and Audi sales tend to skew far younger? An Audi is cool, a Mercedes is not.
        Tina Dang
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BB79826
        "An Audi is cool, a Mercedes is not" Scions, Subarus, and Lancers are "cool" too......... Mercedes caters to old money and more established people. Volkswagen Luxe does not. The yuppies and come ups are the only reason VW Luxeis still in business.
          Tina Dang
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Tina Dang
          Sweetheart, a Lexus is a luxury oriented car, which is MB's primary focus: Supreme, isolated luxury. BMW's and Audi's are cross shopped because they are more focused on driving dynamics.... So apparently you know nothing about the auto industry. BMW's and Audi's are cross shopped with Lexus cars also idiot..... They are in the same class...
          BB79826
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Tina Dang
          "Established" and "old money" are not good things. Do you really know that little about the auto industry? For a Mercedes to be cross-shopped against a Lexus versus a BMW is NOT a good thing.
        Hampton
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BB79826
        Mercedes is a purebred for a more sophisticated buyer.An Audi is a great Volkswagen. As for sales Mercedes will be introducing a new line of smaller cars Next gen C,CLA and A class which will increase volume sales
      timber
      • 2 Years Ago
      The S-class was launched in 2005. It's now a seven year old car. It's not suprising it isn't selling well. The C-class was just updated but it's competing against a barnde new 3 series. And the E-class is approching it's mid life facelift. So it's not suprising that at this moment MB sales aren't the best they could be...
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