Hoping to gain a leg up on its luxury market rivals, Daimler AG is looking at adding at least two more plants to its global production network – one in China and the other some place in North America.
The new plants could be a critical step in regaining the global sales lead as Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand battles key rivals BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi brand. Mercedes narrowly lost the U.S. sales crown to the Bavarians in 2011.
Mercedes officials told Germany’s Manager Magazin the plan is to double the brand’s worldwide output to 2.7 million by 2020. It sold 1.26 million Mercedes-badged vehicles in 2011, about 120,000 less than BMW. Significantly, the publication said Daimler is aiming for a 10% operating margin by the end of this decade.
One of the questions TheDetroitBureau.com is hoping to resolve is what role Nissan will play in the selection and operation of a new Mercedes plant in North America. Could Daimler be looking at adding production capacity of its own alongside a new Nissan facility newly announced for Mexico?