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.