Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche during a preview of the latest Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
With European auto sales sliding to their lowest level in decades last year, the impact has been available, even for the industry’s strongest, most globalized players. That notably includes Daimler AG, which is scrambling to find ways to slash costs after watching its earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, drop by 10% in 2012 despite record sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars.
The group’s net profit did rise to 6.5 billion euros, compared to a 6 billion euro net profit for 2011. Last year’s results, however, included a one-time gain on the sale of 7.5% of Daimler’s shares of EAD, the European aerospace and defense company.
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Despite putting a spin on 2012 as a year with “some great achievements,” Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, acknowledged that, “Notwithstanding our success and the numerous pioneering investments in 2012, it is a fact that we did not reach our own targets for earnings and profitability,”