Zetsche: Mercedes-Benz “will be leading the premium market”

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Daimler should just change their name to DaimlerBenz, the way shareholders originally wanted it before the Daimler and Chrysler merger. Well now that Chrysler is gone, Daimler will be focusing most of its attention towards Mercedes-Benz. The company is now aiming to raise profitability to its premium car group to the head of its class.

“We will drive our operating margin so far that we will be leading the premium market,” DaimlerChrysler CEO, Dieter Zetsche told German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

Mercedes is hoping to surpass its biggest rival BMW. In the first quarter of 2007, Mercedes’ profitability amounted to 6.6 percent while BMW reported a 7.6 percent increase.

Zetsche hopes to boost revenue at the future Daimler by 5-6 percent per year.

Earlier this week, DaimlerChrysler sold a 80.1 percent stake in Chrysler Group to Cerberus Capital Management of New York, a private equity firm. Cerberus Capital Management is paying $7.4 billion for Chrysler, which unbinds the 1998 DaimlerChrysler merger.

DaimlerChrysler will now change its name to Daimler AG while Chrysler Group will change its name to Chrysler Holding. Chrysler has now become the first privately held company out of the big three.

Source: Automotive News (subscription required)

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